Life Lesson Poem

Learning From One's Father

This was a Christmas gift to my children. So much of what I learned from my Dad seemed to soak in by osmosis, simply by a lifetime of observing a quiet, thoughtful and reverent man. He is in his 90s now and keeps a framed copy of this poem in his office.

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Lessons From Dad

Randy Cadenhead © more by Randy Cadenhead

Published by Family Friend Poems August 2020 with permission of the Author.

Love someone as best you can,
but love.

And have a dog,
for it can show you the truest love.

Know God,
and life will make more sense.

Accept that things may fail, 
but do all that you can.

Learn, and live on the better for it.
Learn to smile.

Respect and find good in all you can,
and try to avoid the rest.

Be true to yourself,
but also serve others.

Lead by example
and with care.

Find comfort in working good earth,
and grow as well yourself.

Be there for your family,
but wait quietly.

Try to heal their hurts,
but most of all, let them grow.

Be responsible.
Be known as a truly "gentle man or woman."

Do what you know is right,
and don't forget to sing.

Live so others will say,
"That is the nicest person."

There is no greater dignity than the respect
given to one who is truly humble.


Randy Cadenhead has published a handful of poetry collections. In addition to being a poet, he is an attorney and life-long sailor. Randy and his wife, Debbie Segal, are adjunct professors at Emory Law School.


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