“Do as I say, not as I do”

“Do as I say, not as I do”


“So my father said it, his name was Joseph Lynn Boyd, who is my father and your grandfather. He would say it all the time. It is so bad, he was so bossy. He would say this to boss me around when he didn’t want to do something … and it was very annoying. It wasn’t very empathetic. It was very authoritarian. It wasn’t a democracy, he was the dictator.”

“He said it so much I can’t even think of a specific example. I didn’t want to go to church on Sundays but my mom also wanted to go. ‘Your goin’ to church with your mother.’ And I would say, ‘well you don’t have to go,’ and he would reply with ‘do as I say not as I do.’ It wasn’t every nice now that I think about it. He was pretty selfish.”


What was the significance of this proverb to your family?

“It showed that he was the authoritarian dictator, and he never wanted to listen to anyone else, and he was selfish.”


Who did this proverb affect?

“I’m sure if he had other children he would say it to them but he only had one kid. And if he had a really nice car, we always had a lot of cars … and I wanted to drive one of the nice ones; he would say ‘Do as I say not as I do.'”



This proverb symbolizes the informant’s family dynamic and her relationship with her father. It demonstrates the paternal authority her father claimed over his family and the demands he made of everyone else. This proverb shows that the informant’s father felt as though he were in a position to decide what his family members did, especially his child.