How I Unfollowed My Father and Learned Things Differently

I consciously unfollowed him and chose to be a different person.

S M Mamunur Rahman
Jan 10 · 6 min read
The author at Sylhet, Bangladesh, 2019. The author reserves the rights to this image.

father lost his father when he was a school student. He and his older brother struggled much to survive as the family was not so well-off. At that time, they lived in a rural area with no money and guidance.

I know the family history. I admire both my father and my uncle for what struggle they have gone through in their younger age to survive. Life is hard. And they know what this sentence means more than anyone else. With great hardship and years of hard work that I cannot even imagine, they got out of their miserable condition and built a life of their own.

My father is a great man, and he is a good friend of mine. He has a tremendous love for the family and spent his entire life to make it a better one. Yes, he succeeded in his ways. I love and respect him for what he is. But this post is not to show my gratitude to him.

Here, I will exhibit how I consciously unfollowed my father in some cases and have become a different man in the process.

The process began when I was in high school. Back then, I was a boy with less understanding of the world. My hero and mentor was my father. I loved him but also disliked many things about his character.

So I consciously unfollowed those things and became different than my father.

My Father Shouts Instantly if Anything Goes Wrong. I Listen First.

Back in my childhood days, I found him as a bad-tempered man who frequently shouted if anything went wrong. He got angry for so little things; maybe he was searching for his keys, or I was not getting the maths he was trying to make me understand.

My father used to possess a bad temper, and no doubt, as a little boy, that bothered me a lot. So I made a conscious decision in my childhood; no matter how difficult the situation is, I will try to listen first before reacting to it.

Now, as a grown man of 32, I can confidently say that I listen to things first before reacting to them. Yes, sometimes I shout at certain things, but I make sure that I listen to them and understand the context in the first place. And it makes me different than him.

Sometimes, my mom shares a few things with me first before sharing it with him because she knows well how my father may react instantly, without trying to understand the context.

My Father Doesn’t Read Books. I Read a Lot.

My father hardly read any books. I don’t recall the time when I last saw him reading a storybook or a novel. It hurts me. My father didn’t develop a mindset to learn more by reading books. He watches TV, sees the news, and thus know things about the world.

Of course, I didn’t like this habit of my father. And I chose not to be a man without books. So, when I was in 9th grade, I introduced books (outside of my school syllabus) in my life. Still, I can recall that day when I went to a bookshop in town and bought a novel by Rabindranath Tagore. That was the beginning.

Now I have more than four hundred books in my library at home. There are novels, poetry, fiction, short stories, biographies, etc. It helps me to acquire knowledge and get connected to the brilliant minds of our time.

As I developed this habit by unfollowing what my father did, my siblings also benefited from it. They also read books frequently as I do.

My Father Doesn’t Save Money. I Do the Opposite.

My father didn’t have a money-saving mindset. He still doesn’t save money. If he wanted to save a few bucks from his income, he certainly did, but he chose not to.

I don’t know the reason behind it. But I had seen my father get stressed several times without having a certain amount of money in an emergency fund. Especially when he got transferred from one area to another as a part of his govt service, all the shiftings and the cost behind them stressed him out. But he was reluctant to have any lessons from it.

I didn’t want to be like him when dealing with emergencies. It was hard for me, but I started saving money at least a few bucks every month for any emergencies. Though I spend most of my money traveling across the country and abroad, I managed to save some for emergencies. It keeps me stress-free and relaxed.

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, and if it’s an unexpected incident, a little money can help tackle the situation better. From my experience, I have seen that money gives confidence in bad times.

My Father Doesn’t Travel. I Choose to Travel.

I introduced traveling in my lifestyle when I was in university. Every Friday morning, I went to the train station, got on a train, and traveled to places where I had never been before.

I don’t know whether my father used to travel in his student life or not. But I never saw him traveling for pleasure. He only travels as an official requirement. Otherwise, he doesn’t. After seeing it for so many years, now I know the reason. It’s not about the money. It’s about uncertainty.

I think my father likes to keep going as it is and tries to avoid any changes in his daily life. He leads a routined bound life — office-home-office.

But I consciously choose to be the opposite. I deliberately started traveling only to experience something new, something unknown.

At first, it was a little weird to travel solo in an unknown city or rural area. But now it has become a part of my life. I travel a lot. And a few months ago, I took the whole family on a daylong trip. It was a great day for all of us to remember. I do it every year for recreational purposes.

My Father Doesn’t Listen to Music. I Love Instrumentals.

I have seen my father humming songs only a few times in the last 32 years. I never saw him listening to music. He is somewhat religious, so he often listens to the recitation from religious-scripture but not music.

On the contrary, I love to listen to music, especially instrumental music. I listen to it like every day. I also attend when there is any musical program in the town.

Though I hardly know the grammar of instrumental music, I love to spend time listening to it. It’s more like meditation to me. Yanni, Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chowrasia, Kitaro, and Anushka Shankar are a few of my favorite musicians.

Listening to instrumental music for years, I think I developed an ear for good music. What prayer does to my father, music does to me.

My Father Worries Too Much. I Choose Not To.

It has been bothering me throughout my entire life. When, in my childhood, I wanted to play with new friends alone, my father worried too much and said ‘no’ every time. It was extremely tough to have permission from him to go for something new.

My father loves us very much. It’s a good reason for him to worry about us all the time. But I didn’t like it at all during my childhood days. So I decided not to worry too much and do what I wanted to do.

Besides, my reading habit influenced me a lot. Especially the books of Dale Carnegie helped to shape my thinking in my early childhood. Now I am a grown man who loves to explore new opportunities with enthusiasm and joy.

I believe life is a great gift, and there are numerous things to experience. If I keep myself confined in a cocoon worrying about safety all the time, I will never learn anything.

To Conclude

My father is my first teacher. I learned a lot from him — by following him and by unfollowing him as well.

His love for the family is remarkable. He is excellent at making things out of nothing. He loves to help others in their need. My father loves simplicity. He has a passion for agriculture — he grows flowers, vegetables, and more. He has a reputation for being an honest man. I heard that many a time from his colleagues. And I am indeed very proud of him.

But in my high school years, I started seeing my father from a different angle. So, I consciously unfollowed him in certain things, and that made all the difference.

Now, we both are different in so many ways. And these differences bring us closer. We understand each other and live with joy, happiness, and peace.

Thank you for reading.

Ascent Publication

Strive for happier.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store