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I grew up sandwiched between two sisters. My parents thought that by having all their kids within a few years, the family bond would be strongest. I guess that’s true because my sisters and I are still close today. But siblings who are close in age also fight a lot, and believe me, we found plenty to argue about on a very regular basis.

Mom was the first line of discipline. She could usually break up our shouting matches by threatening “no television” or “ne dessert” or “no playtime”. That usually jolted us to a temporary truce. But kids being kids, truces seldom lasted long and in the blink of an eye we’d be right back at it. Even a saint runs out of patience sometimes, and when she couldn’t take it anymore, Mom would effectively counter with “Wait till your father comes home”. That would send us scurrying to our hiding places to plan strategy for Dad.

Now Dad was really a good-natured guy. But he worked long, hard hours every day and he wanted peace and quiet when he dragged home. Of course, kids know little of what their parents want and care even less about making it easy for them. Dad would patiently listen to Mom’s version of our latest flare-up and then he’d call in the “most guilty” child from wherever he or she was hiding. Usually, the “most guilty” child was me. I’d always have an airtight explanation ready, but strange how Mom’s version always seemed to carry the most weight. Then he’d pass sentence, anywhere from mild to harsh, to match the severity of the infraction.

I’m an adult now with my best years behind me. Thinking back, I don’t remember the things my sisters and I fought about or even the punishments (so they couldn’t have been that bad). But I do remember Dad often saying to me, “Son, you’ve got to learn to stop and think before you say or do stupid things.” I guess I’m a slow learner because I still occasionally put my foot in my mouth. I suppose that isn’t the proudest admission an insurance agent can make. It is with some irony that I chose a career that routinely challenges me to think about what comes out of my mouth. But maybe Dad’s advice hit its mark after all. I’ve learned over the years that saying “You’ve got to be kidding” isn’t the best response to make when clients decide against my recommendations. So I guess I’ve made some progress. The guiding principal of our agency from day one has been to do what is right for our clients, every time. Occasionally I still hear “no” from a client, but I have come to realize that in these cases my solution was better than my explanation of the solution. I’ve learned to stop and think and not blurt out stupid things anymore. Getting the explanation right is something I’m still working on.

Enjoy this great recipe from Kingsford – Grilled Mahi-Mahi Burger with Chipotle-Lime Avocado Spread & Coleslaw

mahi burger