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I became a grandfather for the first time this past week. The birth of my grandson
opened a floodgate of positive emotions and thoughts. Will he love both sports
and dancing (like his dad)? Will he love animals (like his mom)? Will he love Jane
Austin (like my wife)?

His name is River, named after his mom’s beloved grandmother Riva. I can’t stop
thinking about the images associated with his name, ranging from “still waters
run deep” to the first time he will be a “fish out of water.”

But most of all, I can’t stop thinking about the maxims, wise sayings, and
expressions that I want to share with him in the years ahead (of course, at the
right time, in the right way, and for the right reasons). I’ve been collecting these
“wisdom keepsakes” for 30+ years, a venerable treasure-chest of sayings that
have truly made a difference in my life.

Of course, I’ll worry that the first time I share with River one of these treasured
keepsakes it will go in one ear and out the other. Or worse, he will give me that
“you’re so old, grandpa” look.

But I am undeterred. On so many levels, I see it as my duty to pass on these
sayings, even if I fear the day when River may say to me “grandpa, no one thinks
like that anymore.”

Yep, that’s my mission. Passing on these well-worn, old-school sayings. Whether
it’s a maxim about hard work and resilience (“when the going gets tough, the
tough get going”) or how hard it can be at times to “do the right thing, even when
no one is watching.”

I can’t wait until River is old enough to let him know that I say to myself every day
“an attitude of gratitude creates blessings.” Or the first time he’s in a “pickle” and
I have the opportunity to share with him that hollowed saying, “actions speak
louder than words.”

These expressions vivify the virtues of politeness and manners. Personal
responsibility. The Golden Rule. Honesty. Bundled together, there is no doubt in
my mind that these core values will equip and fortify my grandson against the pull
of a value system that promotes radical individualism and anything-goes

My deepest hope is that in the years ahead River and I will have ample
opportunities to talk about the wise sayings and life lessons that have shaped my
character. But right at this moment, all I am feeling is that there are no words to
describe the joy in holding your baby’s baby. What a life!

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