Manvotional: “Advice to My Son” by J. Peter Meinke

by Brett & Kate McKay on October 10, 2009 · 13 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals

fatherson1Image from anniebee

Advice to my Son

by J. Peter Meinke

The trick is, to live your days
as if each one may be your last
(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow; if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell).

To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in the desert, saves –
but the stomach craves stronger sustenance
than the honied vine.
Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
show your soul to one man,
work with another;
and always serve bread with your wine.
But, son,
Always serve wine.

(Hat tip to Andy Luscombe for this Manvotional selection)

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fernando Felix October 11, 2009 at 8:21 am

I’am assuming your out there, I hope you are well.
You’ve struck the heart, your words say very much.
Please say more, Thank You Fernando

2 Katherine Taylor October 12, 2009 at 6:01 am

this poem is so cool, especially the last part ‘Always serve wine’. That is such a manly and fatherly advise. :)

3 Alabaster October 23, 2009 at 4:04 am

Sounds pretty gay.

4 Pieter Grobler January 31, 2010 at 9:49 am

I shall walk through this world but once.
Any good therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show, to any human being — let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer, for I shall not walk this way again.
by: unknown

5 Edmane M. Castor March 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm

“Advice to My Son,” by Peter Meinke is one of the most inspirational and significant poem that I can recommend to read for young people. This poem is about a responsive, sensitive and caring father who doesn’t want his son to take life for granted. Look at the first stanza the two lines say: “The trick is, to live your days as if each one may be your last “The father told his son that the future is unpredictable therefore do not take life lightly but live to the fullest. This is a very meaningful advice because no one holds the future but we need to live one day at a time. “To live your days as if one may be your last” he meant that there is no guarantee to see tomorrow. He wanted his son to know that lives can go so fast because there are so many unfortunate event like natural disaster and unpredictable incident that end people lives every day.

6 Daniel May 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm

@ Pieter – That inspirational quote of how we should then live is by Henry Drummond. Here is the full quote:

“I shall pass through this world but once. And any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

7 greg williamson December 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

My Favorite

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man
It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

By Dean Alfange

8 Chris Sawyer March 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm


Perfect…. fits what my father taught to me in just a few words…


Chris Sawyer

9 Bob April 16, 2013 at 9:56 am


10 Brian October 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

I first read this poem when I was a freshman in high school, some 20 years ago. Interestingly enough, the words have been slightly changed. In the textbook I read it in, line 19 read, “Speak truth to one man, work with another.” I still have the textbook to verify.
I had seen somewhere that the author made the change himself, so all’s fair, but I have to admit for both literary and nostalgic reasons that I prefer the original.
Either way, this is still a stellar work.

11 John Winkler October 8, 2013 at 7:52 am

Making it to 50 years and beyond, I have come to the conclusion based on life experience and biological fact that the consumption of bread and wine is harmful to the human organism! And a lifestyle centered on faith, hope, love, peace, and forgiveness is beneficial to the human organism and soul.

12 John Hyatt October 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

My advice to my children came from a Charlie Daniels song, ‘watch where you are going, remember where you have been’. They have told me many times, that those words have made them stop and think before pursuing a questionable direction or activity.

13 Tom December 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm



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