Dwayne Johnson’s Heartfelt Tribute To His Late Dad Is Full Of Bittersweet Wisdom
Dwayne Johnson talking about his dad is brilliant.
Dwayne Johnson is paying tribute to his late father on his 79th birthday with a video answering some questions from fans — mainly, the biggest life lessons his dad taught him. Johnson’s dad, famous wrestler Rocky, died in January 2020, and the two had a somewhat complicated relationship and weren’t on speaking terms at the time of his death.
Over the years, Johnson has spoken up about his dad and how he was a major influential person in his life — in bittersweet ways. Losing a parent is hard, especially or even if you have a complicated relationship. As he put it in a 2021 interview with Fatherly, Dwayne said that one of his main goals as a parent was to be a “better dad than my dad was for me. And my dad loved me with the capacity that he had, but we had a challenging, complicated relationship.”
Still, even the most complicated relationships can be full of wisdom — bittersweet or otherwise. His fans wanted to know the “biggest lesson [his] dad taught [him]” growing up — so Johnson shared some in a long and heartfelt video.
“My dad taught me 'respect is given when it’s earned, so get out there and earn it,'" Johnson said. “Actually, he would say, ‘so get your a-- out there and earn it,’” he said while referring to the fact that his dad was his first physical fitness trainer as a very young kid.
Another big lesson Johnson learned was a more bittersweet one — that you may not always have the chance to make up with those you love after a big fight, which he and his father had before he passed away.
After a fight, “... Get in there and take care of it,” Johnson shared. “I thought about him every day, and I was conflicted because it’s my old man, and I kept saying, ‘Alright, I gotta call him. I gotta call him,’ and then he passed away suddenly.”
It’s rarely easy to make amends after a big fight — especially when you have a complicated relationship with that person, whether they’re your spouse, your sibling, or your parent. If it feels good to you, there are big and small things you can do after a big fight to help repair the relationship — from giving your person space, to telling them you heard them, to apologizing with specifics.
This lesson was a hard one for Johnson to learn since he wasn’t able to make up with his dad before he suddenly died. “I lost that shot,” Johnson shared. “And now, of course, I gotta live with that every day because I think about him every day, and I think, ‘Damn, I should have made a different decision.’ So he inadvertently taught me that lesson.”
This article was originally published on