The actor said his dad taught him that "respect is given when it’s earned, so get out there and earn it"
On Tuesday, Johnson, 51, shared a video on Instagram saying many of his followers sent questions regarding his dad after the actor shared a tribute to Rocky for what would have been his 79th birthday on Friday.
The Black Adam actor said the most common question he received was about the "biggest lesson my dad taught me" on the path to wrestling fame and movie-star status.
"My dad taught me 'respect is given when it’s earned, so get out there and earn it,' " Johnson said in the video. "Actually, he would say ‘so get your a-- out there and earn it.’ He made sure I was at the gym, even at 5 years old he was kicking my a-- on the wrestling mats."
Johnson said he feels respect must continue to be earned throughout life before he shared another lesson Rocky taught him, which revolved around settling conflict with loved ones.
“You could be mad for a day, two days, but really what you want to do is get in there and take care of it," Dwayne said, recalling that he and Rocky argued over Christmas in 2019. (Dwayne previously said he and Rocky were not on speaking terms at the time of Rocky's death in January 2020.)
"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," Dwayne said. "I lost that shot. And now, of course, I gotta live with that every day because I think about him every day and I I think, ‘Damn, I should have made a different decision.’ So he inadvertently taught me that lesson."
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Johnson expanded upon his thoughts in the caption, where he wrote words of advice to his followers: "Get above the emotion, get face to face and take care of the issue. When you’re face to face, there’s nothing you can’t solve and take care of."
The actor has been open about his relationship with his father since Rocky's death in 2020. On Father's Day in June, Johnson shared a video on Instagram in which he admitted the holiday can prove "a tricky thing that we have to contend with" for men who have lost their fathers.
"Do your best to reconcile because the alternative is something could happen and all of a sudden you’re writing the eulogy for your dad’s funeral, like I found myself," Johnson said in that video. "I woke up one day and he was gone, and I had to write that eulogy and deliver it. I don’t want that for you guys."
"If you have an opportunity, if your old man is around and you do have a shot to reconcile it," he added at the time, before stating: "All our dads [who are] up in heaven are looking down on us now. Hopefully they’re proud of what they see."
In the birthday tribute on Friday, Johnson wrote on Instagram, "Rough day yesterday, but forced me to search for those silver lining blessings — that you realize, if look hard enough, those silver linings are usually right there in front of you on the hardest of days."
"That was always my dad’s way," he continued. "Days are tough, life is hard. Get used to it. He’d always say, 'a day without pain is like a day without sunshine.' I think about you often. The lessons. The stuff. I love you, happy heavenly birthday and I’ll see you downs the road, Soulman."
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