With Father’s Day coming up, it got us thinking about dads and advice: What’s the best lesson you ever learned from your father, or a father figure in your life?
So without further ado, here are seven of our favorite pieces of advice submitted by you.
“My dad, Andrew Harris, has given this advice specifically to married couples: ‘It’s better to make it right than to be right.’ He says that oftentimes, we tend to focus on being right, rather than being at peace and moving forward. ‘There’s nothing to win. You’re on the same team. It does not matter who is right, but only that things are made right so that you can move forward together.’ My entire family has held on to that advice, and shared it with countless others. To us, they are words to live by.” -- Melodi
“This from my dad, Roger, on which I wrote my college admissions essays -- and got into every school to which I applied: ‘Buy the best shoes you can afford, for they will take you down all the paths of your life. They provide comfort, support, coverage, protection and adventure. Walk with pride, knowing you are traveling your own route.’” -- Rachel
“It was more like a saying: ‘I will give you a hand up. I will not give you a hand out.’ Because of this, it was instilled in me to work hard and do the best I can, and not to be afraid to ask for help -- just don’t ask for someone to do for you what you can do for yourself.” -- James H.
“My dad would comfort me after a hard-fought but lost Little League baseball game, with this phrase: ‘Some days chicken salad, some days chicken s---.’ He also told me when I went to college, to treat my studies just like a 9-5 job. Do a combined eight hours of class plus studying each day, Monday through Friday.” -- David
“Two pieces of advice I got from my dad that always stuck with me were, one, take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves (as in, tell your wife you love her, hug your kids every day and your family will stay strong). And two, take care of your things, and they will take care of you. (As in, maintain your car and it will get you to work on time. Keep your bicycle clean and chain oiled and you can ride with your friends whenever you want).” -- Matthew
“The best advice my father ever gave me was this: Following others’ bad decisions is like digging a hole. And once you get too deep, you realize -- you can’t pull yourself out and they (are) nowhere to be found. Then you have to find a way out on your own, but are you going to allow yourself to be stuck again? Or are you going to remember (that) following others’ mistakes could put you somewhere you really don’t want to be?” -- Margaret
“When I was a junior in high school, my dad would not let me take the school’s driver’s ed class until I had finished a semester in auto mechanics. I learned a lot (more than I needed, but better is more than less). And it took the mystery out of how the car works; what can go wrong and how to deal with problems. Of course, the cars are very different now with all the computerized controls, but when I go to a mechanic, I am more confident that I will not be duped (and feel I don’t sound quite so ignorant when talking about the problem with the car).” -- Kathy O
This article was initially published in 2021. It has since been updated.