The internet was ablaze in the 2000s with quips featuring American actor Chuck Norris (aka Carlos Ray Norris).
Some of the best examples included, “Chuck Norris’s mind is connected to the internet. He refreshes Web pages by blinking;” and “Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils water with his rage.”
Another is, “Chuck Norris can ride a motor without a cycle.” Add to this, “When Chuck Norris crosses the street, the cars look both ways.”
The list of hyperbolic ‘Chuck Norris Facts’ is as massive as they are impressive.
Honouring this ingenuity and humour, in 2009, Chuck Norris compiled his favourites, and added his personal reflections to them.
Here are ten standouts I’ve called Norris ‘isms. Each carry weighty advice for the dad-life.
Fireproof your marriage.
Chuck writes, ‘I met my wife, Gena when I was filming Walker: Texas Ranger. We’ve been married 10-years, are best friends, and have two eight-year-old twins.’
On the subject of Romance, he adds, ‘it’s easy to get caught up in infatuation, but true love takes time, and a lot of work.’
Look deeper, ‘discover what makes that person tick – especially spiritually. Make sure your core values and beliefs align.’
Bloom where you’re planted.
Chuck moved around a lot as child. ‘We lived on welfare for more than 10-years,’ he said. ‘All that moving had an effect on me. Once I started to earn a living, I wanted to settle down.’
He then explained, settling down ‘isn’t always easy for me to do. I still feel unsettled sometimes, finding myself praying that African proverb, “Lord, help my heart to sit down.” For home is where the heart is.’
Do not fear, fear.
Those who are familiar with the man, his movies, and martial arts might find it odd to hear Norris confess, ‘it took me too long to realise that fear of failure isn’t bad – but not stepping out in faith is.’
He writes, ‘even the best fail – the difference is their attitude about failure. They’re not afraid to fail and to do so over and over again.’
Chuck asserted, ‘as Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”’
Don’t ever stop being friends and having fun in marriage.
Friends and fun, asserts Norris, are the ‘two ingredients absent from every failing marriage, and present in every successful one.’
He’s right. Harmless spontaneity and joyful playfulness feed the longevity of a good marriage. The anti-dote to morose, joyless marriages is ‘fun and friendship.’
Be educated, not indoctrinated: Don’t check your brain at the door.
The responsibility for the education of our kids should be in the hands of mums and dads, not the State.
We are to invest in equipping our kids for the future, because our kids are the future.
‘It isn’t a mere coincidence,’ Chuck notes, that ‘the private choice of homeschooling was outlawed by the Soviet State in 1919, by Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1938, and by Communist China in 1949.’
Fathers, not “daddy government”, play a central role in nurturing boys and girls into adulthood.
Never be too proud to ask for directions – even life directions.
One of the best Norris ‘isms is recognising that ‘no one is immune’ to the seduction of ‘power, pleasure, position, possessions, or places.’
‘We all lose our way from time to time,’ he said. ‘But there’s no way we can find our way home until we first admit to having lost our way.’
He added, ‘I succumbed to the enticements of fame and fortune, like so many before me. I swallowed the Hollywood lifestyle, hook, line and sinker. I had notoriety and riches at my fingertips; I thought I had everything, but all I really had was a huge hole in my heart.’
Chuck expands on this explaining how grace brought him home. Like the ex-slave trader, John Newton, Chuck said, “I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”
Everything in moderation.
According to Norris, ‘the WHO, and CDC state that children and teen obesity has tripled in the United States over the last 30-years. 25% of kids are overweight or obese, and most parents don’t know it.’ (Similar stats exist about adults.)
Other than a few exceptions based on genetics etc, most of the problems with weight come from poor diet, and no exercise. The good news, Chuck argues, is that this can be cured. Thus, ‘preventing unnecessary illnesses and deaths.’
Practice moderation preaches the martial arts expert:
‘Movement is medicine for the body […] 1. Drink sufficient amounts of water. 2. Get adequate sleep. 3. Eat living foods. 4. Exercise regularly. 5. Detoxify your body. 6. Take vitamins (in consultation with your doctor). 7. Reduce stress. 8. Feed yourself spiritually.’
Don’t be afraid to go outside the box.
It’s no urban myth. Chuck Norris actually sang the Tirk Wilder theme song ‘The Eyes of the Ranger,’ featured in the ‘Walker: Texas Ranger’ TV series.
He writes about sending the theme song to CBS telling them that Randy Travis should sing it. CBS responded by saying, “either you sing it, or we don’t use it.”
Norris reluctantly agreed, and said he sounded awful. It took 12 hours to nail down. Nevertheless, he stepped outside the box. The rest is the stuff of legend.
Sacrifice is never in vain. Never be afraid to say, “I love you.”
This Norris ‘ism is birthed from another little-known fact. Wieland Norris, Chuck’s younger brother (also a martial arts expert) was killed while serving in Vietnam on 3rd June, 1970.
All of the ‘Missing in Action’ films are dedicated to him.
Chuck told of how the news hit him as hard as a ‘dozen karate champions hitting all at once.’
His other brother, Aaron (a black belt), has been Chuck’s ‘right hand man in film and TV.’ Without him, Chuck writes, ‘I’m not sure I would have had the success I’ve been blessed with.’
Despite tragic loss, and bitter grief, a professional partnership was forged together by sacrifice, respect, and brotherly love.
Fighting for your family is a fight worth fighting.
‘I might sound old fashioned,’ the martial arts legend writes, ‘but I still believe that a family consists of a mum, a dad, and some kids.’
He then pins down how darker times strengthened him to ‘persevere later in life.’ Evil, he said, ‘pervades society and there’s no clearer place to its menacing claws than in how it tears apart families.’
‘I believe that families can survive and thrive through the darkest of times. I’m proof of that, having survived an alcoholic, abusive and philandering father and having helped my mother raise my two younger brothers.’
With Miyagi level finesse, Chuck asserts: ‘Control that which seeks to control you. Take every thought captive. Master all things.’
Norris ‘isms are as good as Miyagi’s “wax on wax off” axioms.
Chuck’s guidance is real.
The result of this pop-culture and everyday living collision is sage advice that reaches beyond the memes, the myths and the man.
Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.