What My Grandfather Taught Me – Lesson #1

One hour a day, three days a week, pretty well every week for ten years my grandfather (Opa) would teach me either Lithuanian or German language.

At the time it was gruelling.  I called it “the dungeon”, even though we sat in a well-lit ground floor room in my grandparents’ house.  It felt like I was being punished for doing nothing wrong.

Opa would ask me if I would ever forget him.  Of course I couldn’t.  Who could forget the selflessness of dedicating so many hours for so many years to an ungrateful grandchild.  Let me be clear that I wasn’t ungrateful for ever!  As I aged I recognized the wonderful luck I had had  as a teenager to spend so much one-on-one time with my Opa.

And after all that time I did indeed learn to speak Lithuanian and German with correct grammar and pronunciation, but that was probably the smallest aspect I gained from all that time.

I learned that patience is so important, especially when working with people.  Indeed I didn’t appreciate Opa’s dedication to me for years.  He could have easily agreed to stop the lessons after one or two tear-filled afternoons, but he didn’t.  he knew what was good for me, even if I couldn’t recognize it at the time.  Be patient with others.  Take the time to see their point of view and make a genuine effort to understand them and their motivations.  It will make all the difference to your relationship!

I also learned that it’s not just the amount of time, but the quality of time you spend with someone that’s so important.  Having that one-on-one attention for so many years is something that I’ve never heard anyone else receive from a grandparent, and indeed many children don’t receive that kind of attention from their parents!  What an incredible and indelible impression has been left on me.  If you want to leave a lasting impression, make sure the time you spend with someone is without distractions.

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This entry was posted in 7 Criteria, Be Inspired, Coaching, Communication, Educated, Parenthood, Personal Coaching, Time and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What My Grandfather Taught Me – Lesson #1

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  2. Colin Bruins says:

    Thanks Matthew for this great reminder how the quality and quantity of time we spend with others makes a huge difference in the relationship. This reminded me of what author Reggie Joiner stated when he said “the quantity of quaility time” is what matters in the relationship of a family not the mere quantity or the quality of time spent with an individual. Both are valuable!! This post that you have given has given more more courage to make some difficult decisions in making sure I can spend more “quantity of quality time” with significant relationships in my life.
    Thanks for sharing again Matthew..

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