When I was 14 or 15, my Dad and I settled into one of many “serious conversations.” this occurred when I had really screwed up and/or refused his advice on some critical topic…so it happened a lot.
This particular conversation took place after having discussed and revisited one of my not-so-smart decisions and now looking back on it as a parent myself, I think he had decided a course correction was in order.
“You know 99% of everything there is to know…” he started and my ears perked up.
“But there’s still this 1% that you don’t know… I know the 1%… And remember you know NOTHING of this at all.” I was slightly deflated but intrigued.
“So when I am giving you advice or a suggestion, it’s part of that 1%.”
It became code for us… Sometimes before I screwed up, sometimes after but invariably we would look at each other and in tandem say: “This is the one percent.”
Now that he’s gone I find myself wanting him to offer that 1% so much. I remember him telling me about a Mark Twain quote his father shared with him and he in turn shared with me:
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain