12 February 2009


My father inscribed the photo with the comments you see. I'm pretty sure this is how he sees life. I know I see it that way.

Look at him. That's what I call cocky. This is Korea in 1960. My father was a young lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery branch. That must have been cooler than cool in 1960. Screwing around with missiles...cutting edge stuff I imagine. Sure to give a man a sense of confidence. I am the shit.

Unfortunately, I inherited a lot of his confidence. Like anyone with lots of confidence it comes from a poor self image. Cocky people always feel like they're a screw up. They just don't want anyone finding out. That's why they're cocky. It's pretty simple.

Moving around a lot I discovered that most teachers don't like cocky kids. Especially those who show up in the dead of winter with a peeling burn from Texas. If you're different and you're cocky - - you're gonna catch some hell. I worked for a colonel in the army who said, " I'm so confused I don't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my ass." I know that has nothing to do this - - but he also told me, "You're a smart ass. It's in your walk. It's in your talk. You can't help it. Me? I like confidence. But most people don't. Remember that."

So there I am. Standing at that bar. A piece of me at least. A scared little boy puffing his chest out so the big fish don't eat him.


Anonymous said...

I knew that. I always knew that. I, on the other hand suffer poor self-confidence. The two ARE mutually exclusive. I like myself, I just can't accomplish much!

But your dad's laugh is all yours. You own it!

I want that badass radio on the bar.


Tin-tin's phred/dad said...

Tin-tin's phred/dad
Zenith Transoceanic radio on bar. Army issued at least one to every unit and all you had to do was requisition more if desired. Those were the good old (pre-computer) days.

Low self esteem and confidence:
You don't improve self esteem by getting something for nothing. Giving each kid in a class a gold star sticker (even those who fail) is worthless.
You improve self esteem by building self confidence. You build self confidence by doing the very best job you can--be it school or real world work. Your efforts will be recognized and you'll feel better about yourself
once you've proved something.
Your goal would be to be the "best" in your job, hobby or whatever. You may not make it all the way, but you'll improve.

Self confidence after successes can result in a cocky attitude. You don't let it show except when with friends (notice in photo I'm in our bar. Had just won/earned an award).
Elsewhere, you talk and walk with confidence, but NEVER swagger or talk like a smart ass.
You show respect for your superiors AND ALSO for your subordinates. They need to build confidence as well. A sense of humor helps if not overdone. You're not to be the "class clown."

tintin said...

DB- Thanks for the compliment and the old man id'ed that radio for you.

Dad- Wise words that mean more to me than anything.