WORDS OF MY FATHER/
PALABRAS DE MI PADRE
Excerpt from Delmarva Review Volume 11.
Always say hello, even if the others do not say hello back.
We are Latinos, and Latinos always say hello.
When you shake a hand, shake it firmly, and look a person in the eyes. Never look away. Character goes a long way in life. And we aren’t born with character. We build it.
Character is a house of hay that becomes sturdy with time.
Never try to eat a mango without getting your hands dirty. Let the juice ooze onto your fingers, let your fingers become sticky. When you’re finished eating it, you can wash your hands. Remember, any mess, no matter how big, can always be cleaned up.
When you play soccer, always be the best player on the field. And be a little selfish. You pass the ball too much to your teammates, and assists, they don’t get you anywhere in life. People will only remember you if you score all the goals.
Know when a dream is worth chasing forever and when it should be abandoned to go off in pursuit of another.
The same goes for women. When you love a woman, if your heart begs to see her whenever she is gone, never let her go.
If you’re only half sure of your love, then you should walk away.
If you ever have a problem, come to me and ask me for advice. But most likely, I won’t give you an answer. I’ll just sit down beside you and we’ll both close our eyes and pray to God for guidance because two prayers are better than one.
For anything good in life, you must wait. You cannot make guacamole with a green avocado because it will taste bitter.
You must wait for the avocado to ripen and turn black.
You need to remember all these things, mi’jo. You need to remember all these things. But the most important thing you should remember is that you are Latino. That means you should always say hello, even if the others do not say hello back,
because we are Latinos, and Latinos always say hello.