Incredible Life Lesson Learned From My Dad

Devin Arrigo

4 brothers, 5 sisters, and a three-bedroom house

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Photo by Szilvia Basso on Unsplash

My Dad has 9 siblings.

He grew up in a 3-bedroom, 1-bath house with his 4 brothers, 5 sisters, and two parents.

Think about that for a second — 12 people in a 3-bedroom, 1,000 square foot house, all sharing the same bathroom.

I oftentimes ask myself, “Where did they all sleep? How did they fit?”

Well, my Dad and his four brothers all shared one room. The same room that became mine nearly 50 years later when my Dad bought his childhood home.

When I was 15, I moved into my Dad’s old room. The same room he shared with his four brothers when he was growing up.

And one of the first things I said was…

“Where am I going to put all my clothes?”

Here I was, a nieve, 15-year-old kid, who had no idea how good I had it.

My Dad responded calmly and enlightened me about the history of the room.

“You know, your uncles and I all used to share this room. We had one small drawer in the built-in wooden dresser. That’s where we put our clothes.”

He also noted they each had a small section of the closet to hang what few clothes they had. And that was it. A drawer and 1/5 of a small closet.

I was stunned.

5 people in one bedroom. “How did everyone fit?”, I asked myself.

I’ve been lucky enough to have my own room for my entire life. When my Dad outlined the history of the room I was now calling ‘mine’, it really struck a chord and completely changed my outlook on life.

And it taught me an invaluable lesson.

A lesson my Dad learned from a young age.

Being that he never had much growing up, he was always grateful for the things he did have. No matter how small.

A bed to sleep in. A roof over his head. A full dinner plate in front of him.

Although he knew he didn’t have a lot, he always understood that there may be someone that had even less than he did. And he never took that for granted.

Be grateful for what you do have — big or small. Although you might not see it, someone almost always has it worse.

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Marathon runner | Triathlete | Personal growth addict | Writing about creative ways to become a better human being. devin.arrigo1@gmail.com

Los Angeles, CA
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