Five Things You Learn From a Dad For Father’s Day

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
― Umberto Eco

What wisdom did you learn from your father? My father didn’t talk much. He was the quintessential man of few words. So how did I learn so many wonderful things? Luck and love, I suppose. Luck and love. Here’s what I learned

1. Compassion. I learned compassion. My father couldn’t abide people hurting others. He didn’t do it, he didn’t stand for it.

2. Not everything is about money. My dad didn’t take money except for his work. My dad worked in a factory so he wasn’t exactly a rich guy but if he had things to pass on, he did just that, he passed them on. When my father bought any new furniture (which, truth be told he only did when my mother made him do so because he really couldn’t care less about what he lived with, furniture-wise.), he gave away what he could no longer use. I remember a neighbor telling him the bedroom set he gave away could’ve been sold as it had value. My dad said, “If I’m not using it, someone should. It’s not about making money.”

3. Read every day. My dad didn’t finish high school but he was a consumer of the written word, mostly newspapers. Never a day passed without an hour spent reading. He may have been that man of few words outgoing but incoming, words mattered to him.

4. Judgement. As a kid I think I may have been embarrassed about how little my dad cared about appearances. He didn’t care what he wore, he didn’t care to impress people with his home, he truly didn’t care what people thought of his superficialities, nor was he impressed by others in that way. When I grew up I realized the strength of character that comes from only caring about what’s inside.

5. Storytelling. While my dad didn’t say much, when he was in his element, with his friends and family, he lit up when telling a good story. His eyes would twinkle, his lips turned up just slightly at the ends. Telling a good story made the world so much better for him and for those of us in his audience. Storytelling enhances life.

Those are my five. What are yours? Oh and I have a bonus one. He taught me how to change a tire. Alas, I’ve used that one a lot!

I leave you with this quote for Father’s Day for everyone who is lucky enough to have a dad’s shadow to guide them.

IMG_0023

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. ~Antoine-François, Abbé Prévost d’Exiles

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16 thoughts on “Five Things You Learn From a Dad For Father’s Day

  1. I love both of these quotes. My dad taught me how to feel comfortable in front of an audience. I used to watch him under the dining room table when he practiced his speeches at the head of the table as if the board was convened. My dad taught me how to appreciate music (and both of us cried when a beautiful piece played on the radio). My dad taught me to write love poems (he wrote them for my mom, and I write them for my guy). My dad taught me how to die (he did so with dignity and courage).

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    1. Your dad sounds like an exquisite human. How fortunate you must feel on Father’s Day and every day. Thanks for sharing this. It actually made me cry. My dad died similarly and I learned exactly the same lesson.

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  2. Your father sounds a wonderful man. You’re a lucky woman.
    My father taught me to drive and do figure eights in a parking lot in reverse to get me comfortable when driving backwards. He taught me to save, to be honest and compassionate. We haven’t had him for Father’s Day for 30 years. He would have been 103 this year.

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  3. I also learned how to drive from my dad. My mom didn’t drive so he was stuck with that job. My dad, if he were still alive, would be 102. Same generation of greatness as your dad.

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    1. Thanks. From what I’ve been hearing from people, there are a lot of them out there. But, in terms of learning from a parent, I think we learn a great deal from the great ones but maybe even more from the less than great. It’s about processing what you live.

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  4. It’s amazing how many things you can learn when you are open to it and paying attention to what’s happening even when there is no sound. 🙂 Thanks so much for this comment. Enjoy a lovely weekend.

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  5. Lovely tribute, Debby. My tribute to Dad this week was developed as a list of 4’s. Whatever the number, we are fortunate to make gratitude lists here and know these stellar qualities can be taught to the generations that follow.

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  6. I loved this post Debby thank you and the comments also. The photo is beautiful and restful as are the quotes. Many of us are blessed with great father role models and those who aren’t, can process this in whatever way and become great role models themselves and pass this on to future generations.

    I’d forgotten that my father taught me to drive! He was a strict disciplinarian though always fair, unfailing polite and though quiet and reserved had a wry wit.

    Your father sounds like a true gentleman.

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    1. Yes, thanks. I suspect there are many other things my dad taught me that I’ve long ago forgotten! (Driving included.) I totally agree with your take on those who are not gifted with a wonderful dad. They learn too and can still pass along greatness.

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