Tuesday, May 1, 2018

#121 / Horse Sense

As I was growing up, my father, Philips B. Patton, gave me lots of good advice. Most importantly, he converted me from an "I can't do it" kind of a person to someone who thinks just the opposite. My two years in an Honors Program in Social Thought and Institutions at Stanford University also helped. The topic we studied and discussed for those two years was "Utopia," and I have been a "utopian" ever since.

My father's way of formulating the basic lesson, though, is the main way I keep in touch with his advice: "If you don't have a dream, Gary, you can't have a dream come true."

My father never went to college, but he did go to law school, at age fifty-one. He was number two in his class at Santa Clara Law School and became a very successful lawyer. He had another saying he passed on to me, lawyer to lawyer, related to how to be an effective advocate. I commend may father's wisdom to you.

If you want to persuade me of something, my father always told me, you need to:

Give me a horse I can ride. 

That is good advice. In politics, or personal life, you need to give persons who might not be seeing things your way some sort of "horse" that he or she will feel comfortable with. If you can do that, you might just be able to get them to mount that horse, and to ride your way!

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