Previous   Next

How has your father influenced your life?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 17, 2007

Browse the archives

Photo of Larry Sinks

“My father has been my hero. He’s taught me the value of hard work, honesty and discipline. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”

Photo of Betty Norwood

“My father told me to go for whatever goals I wanted to set and that I could achieve them if I worked hard.”

Photo of Luke Arndt

“By leading by example. He works hard, and he’s a family man. I just try to follow in his footsteps so I can be just like him.”

Photo of Hillary Leibold

“He never puts himself first and always puts us first. He’s always thinking about our best interest.”


jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

He taught me persistence. That and. . . .

. . .ah the hell with it.

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

Jokes aside, that IS the best lesson I learned from my step-dad. My real dad, I learned some valuable lessons from as well, that broadened my perspectives a great deal, but which are probably too dark in nature to comfortably go into on an internet forum.

But I know, love, and appreciate both of them, for who they are, and what they've been through.

Man, I do go on, don't I? In my own defense, I've had a bit to drink.

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 10 years, 11 months ago

Lessons Learned From Dad: 1. You're never to old to get excited about learning. 2. Articulation beats Volume. 3. Approach a Horse from the side, not from the back. 4. Rollercoasters are more fun if you understand physics. 5. Sometimes it is better to shut up.

And that feels like a good spot to stop.


bearded_gnome 10 years, 11 months ago

my father died when I was sixteen, so I was in the process of adolescent rebellion. however, I wear a beard as my father did, no shave at all. I am sure I got my idealism from him, and my sense of humor.

Dad, you taught me more than you may think.

in today's world fatherhood is seeming even more a dwindling comodity and yet at least as vital as during my growing up years.

jonas, that liquor seems to have prompted you to prolixity.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

My father passed away when I was 2 (I was the youngest of 4). He was never replaced. That influenced my life a great deal. I learned from the person who had to be my father (my mother) that you need to be strong. That you need to know how to do basic plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work. That, especially for a woman, you need to stand up for what you believe in. That life is not fair and it never will be. Get over it. (I still struggle with that one!) That you should do whatever you do for the benefit of the family. That some grown men will say things to a single woman that he would never say to a married one. (a$$hole$!) And, that there are some men in this world that are simply impossible to replace. They are the "keepers." Happy Father's Day to all the "keepers" out there. (And especially to you, Mom!)

sourpuss 10 years, 11 months ago

My father was my best friend in life, and sadly passed away this April. I think the greatest thing he taught me was kindness. Be kind to others, especially those most unlike yourself, be outraged at injustice, leave the world better than you found it, and to always make time to listen to others - those are the gifts he left me.

I miss him every day and I carry on his spirit.

erod0723 10 years, 11 months ago

The thing that sticks with me most from everything my dad has said to me is this: Showing up is 95% of life. You will be amazed how far the simple act of showing up will get you. Also, persistence is key. You have to be determined in your actions and goals in order to achieve your dreams. Happy father's day pop.

ms_canada 10 years, 11 months ago

My dear father taught me that it is just quite all right for men to cry. My daddy cried when he was happy and when he was sorrowful and most of all when he had to part from his three girls to go off to work someplace for several months. And he never failed to bring us some small token of his affection when he returned. what a great man!!!! What a large man he was.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 11 months ago

"Showing up is 95% of life."

That is much of what it means to be a father. Being present with your children. Canada's dad valued being able to be present, it seems; and that has stuck with her.

Finally, an OTS that doesn't get everyone's stuff in a bunch about politics and religion.

denak 10 years, 11 months ago

My father taught me about pride and what it takes to be a man in a society that discriminates against you. My father is blind. He grew up in an institution. In the first 18 years of his life, he spent a combined total of 2 years with his parents.

Growing up with my father was not easy. He did not know how to be a husband or a father. He had anger issues and ,from time to time, was prone to hitting.

But he tried. He could have walked away but he never did. He married a widow with a one year old child and raised my sister as his own along with myself and my brother. He worked a job he hated all through our childhood because it was the only place that would hire him because he was blind. He worked overtime to send us to the best school around because he believed in education.. He made sure we had a roof over our head even when people would not rent to "the blind people" (My mom also has vision problems) Eventually, he bought a house but had to contend with the "good neighbors" that never hesitated to inform my mom and dad what us children were doing. (As if they didn't know) or to offer help with menial things that they were just sure he couldn't do. (He could fix anything.) He would have to endure other people's attempts to emasculate him and make him less of a man simply because he was blind and therefore, in thier eyes, less. My father taught me how to push back and to advocate for one's rights and needs. He taught me how to be a mother to my son who is, also, blind even though his doctor's inisisted that his form of blindness was not genetic and would not be passed on.

My father is not an easy man. He has his faults but he taught me what my son will have to go through in his life and because of that, I can teach my son to be a better man, than what I could have if I had not had my father to teach me what it means to be a man and how to live in a society that views you as less because of a disability.

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

dang Gnome, you've hit me with a word that I have to look up. That doesn't happen very often. But I don't think I've heard the word prolixity used before.

ms_canada 10 years, 11 months ago

gnome guy - I think jonas would agree with me, as indeed, many others would also, that somewhat more prolixity on your part would be a welcome refreshment on this forum. Of late you cannot be accused of being prolix. No indeed.

acg 10 years, 11 months ago

Things I learned from dad:

Always pay your bills on time. Your credit is very important! You don't ever have to go anywhere bad enough to warrant drinking and driving.
It takes just as much energy to procrastinate as it does to take care of the chore. Don't shoot an animal unless you plan on eating it. (rabid and attacking animals don't apply) Always mix 10 Year Old Charter with Coke, never Pepsi. Always be armed in some way.

John Spencer 10 years, 11 months ago

He died when I was 11, it really messed me up.

gogoplata 10 years, 11 months ago

I really enjoyed reading all of the comments. I think I'll go play with my daughter.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 11 months ago

why thank you MSC. often I don't have time to get on here in the morningtime. I do prefer to prevent prolixity instead pushing prose with punch and probity.

this was a very good thread this time. I was especially touched by Denak, oldy, msc, and two or three others. indeed it was nice we didn't have one bout of name calling mudslinging or political polarization. oh oh, I might be waxing prolix...bye.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.