Papa’s Pearls, by Diane Flynn Keith, is a sweet book that tells about the life of the author’s father and about the profound effect that “Papa” had on his family. The author tells stories about the life of Carol Joseph Flynn, from his beginnings as a delinquent youth, headed for a life of trouble, to his transformation to a loving father, responsible citizen, and successful businessman.
These often humorous anecdotes begin with “Papa’s” childhood as he was growing up in San Francisco in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I loved these “snapshots” of life in a simpler, yet in some ways, much more difficult time. Although, it is not the primary intent of the book, there is a lot of history here. Something about the story reminded me of one of my favorite books, Cheaper By the Dozen, also a story written about a father by his daughter.
Each chapter focuses on a few of “Papa’s pearls” of practical advice, loving actions, and life-success principles. Here are a few:
- “Bad things just don’t happen to our family” was an expression of Papa’s positive attitude. Even in the worst of times, he looked for the good and put a positive spin on the situation.
- “Tell yourself you like it” was his mantra for the most unpleasant jobs that had to be done. He told his children that, with the right attitude, anything was tolerable, or even pleasant.
- “I love you. You know that, right?” was told to his children and grandchildren over and over again. No one ever doubted that he or she was thoroughly loved.
- “Be grateful every day.” Remember how blessed you are.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It left me with a warm, cozy feeling. Papa’s love and nurture of his family was evident. Many of the principles he taught were probably just common sense to previous generations, imparting the values of hard work, responsibility, and respect for others, but they are values that our children may not see valued in our current society.
I was inspired to incorporate some of Papa’s practices and sayings into my own family. From letting go of grudges, to keeping a positive attitude, to making sure that my family knows that I love them always, I hope that I will be changed and not just entertained by Papa’s Pearls.
Here is what Emily (age 12) had to say after reading Papa’s Pearls:
My favorite saying in Papa's Pearls is a moral and a lesson that I think everybody should listen to.
“ When You Fall Down-
Get Back Up, Brush Yourself Off and Try Again!”
That saying has a lot of meaning! It encourages us to keep our pride and not to give up. That saying means a lot to me and probably others if they stop and think about it. How many times have people tried something new and failed at it? How many people love doing something but they just can’t get a good grip on it?
This saying means a lot to the people that stop and think about how many times it has happened to them. Don't give up just because something small and tiny brings you down! You have to stay strong and practice at it until you get better at it! I never really stopped to think about this before, but what if we just gave up on our dreams? What if we gave up right after the first try? Where would we be? Where would the world be? If we didn’t try something that we love doing, then who knows where we would be. Think about singers or dancers; they finally found something that they’re good at and they stuck with it until they got better! If those singers or those dancers had given up right after they had fallen or hit a wrong note, then we wouldn’t be getting entertainment! We wouldn’t be listening to music when we do our chores or when we turn on the TV because they gave up after the first try!
Go after your dreams, who knows, after you keep on trying at that one thing you love, you could change the world. If you just try, just like those singers and dancers have, you could provide entertainment for millions of people to watch or listen to.
Papa’s Pearls is available for $14.97 + shipping and is an enjoyable and motivational book that is appropriate for pre-teens to adults.