Fatherly advice is the sort of thing so valuable that there have been countless books, characters, and even YouTube channels built around it.
We didn't all grow up with a father - or one who was capable, for whatever reason, of sharing nuggets of sage wisdom.
Some of us, though, got dads who were right up there with Mr. Miyagi, Mr. Rogers (either the neighbor one or the superhero one works here) or Uncle Iroh. Reddit wanted to shine a spotlight on those dads and the wisdom they doled out:
For real... we're kind of inspired right now.
"You are the only person you have to live with for the rest of your life ."
In other words, take responsibility for what you do, learn how to move past your mistakes, and realize that your actions have consequences.
My uncle said something similar. Learn to be happy with yourself, if you can't, then investigate why and fix it.
I want to add something to that, if I may.
You have to take care for yourself, to the end. You're the only person that can make yourself happy. Yes, this can be with other persons; but when you're in a bad relationship, bad environment or what ever then YOU are the person that should do something about it.
Don't stay with the person(s) that don't make you feel good, loved or are bad for you.
Walk Anywaywave lol GIF by Shalita Grant Giphy
We were once watching the show Survivor, and on this particular episode the people were flown in to where they were set to be stranded. The catch was that they had to trek quite a ways to their camps, and beforehand they voted on who they thought the weakest link would be right off the bat and based on first impressions.
The lady that was voted as weakest got a ride to camp rather than having to walk. My dad scoffed and said "Screw that, I would have walked anyway to prove them all wrong."
Simple, but it has stuck with me ever since. In the context of a survival game it's a bad move; conserve your energy. But I think for me it's about more than that.
It's a reminder that it's easier to be lazy, especially when others expect it from you, than to hold up the personal standards you should carry for yourself. Don't let them carry you. If they think you're too weak to walk, walk anyway.
Default To Kindness
My dad taught me to always be kind. Kindness isn't loud, it doesn't need to be stated. It should just be inherent in everything you do.
You don't have to like everyone or treat them well if they don't treat you well, but you should try to approach everyone with the same kindness you'd wish they'd give you.
Same! Also, you can cut ties without burning bridges. It's okay to say "this person no longer needs to be in my life, but I won't hurt then while I say goodbye"
Easy Ain't It
If it was easy, everyone would do it.
I follow a modified version of this in business: If it was fun or exciting or easy, they wouldn't pay us to do it instead.
It's a lesson that some of the most boring, basic, monotonous stuff imaginable can make you the most money. On the flip side; the funnest, most interesting stuff is the stuff that the clients all want to try doing for themselves (or there's an over-saturated market of people doing it.)
The more annoying and complex the better because they'll pay us extra to deal with it for them.
If you don't know how to make things better, just listen.
Dads like fixing problems but a lot of problems my sister and I had weren't things he could do anything about (friendship problems, breakups), but he'd listen to us vent about it.
People really value having someone listen to them, my friend went through a really hard time a few years ago and ended up getting depression. Some friends just left her to it but I invited her round, let her just talk. I've never experienced depression so felt so helpless not knowing how to fix it, but just listening to her and being present was still a help to her.
To kids, Time = Love
Thiiiiissssss. Buying your kids the latest toys etc is no where near as impactful as spending time with them. I've realised over the last few years how many things my dad took me too or did with me that wouldn't have been necessarily up his alley but he genuinely found happiness in spending time with us.
We didn't have a lot of money and therefore didn't have a lot of "things" but I feel luckier because my dad spent as much time with us as he could. If I become a parent that's one of the most important values I want to live up to.
If you ever feel like you have a problem, just know you can live a full happy life without alcohol. He couldn't control it, and neither could I. He gave it up so he could have his son in his life, I gave it up because of his example.
Mine never taught me this. He died because he choked on his vomit when I was 7 years old. It took 10 years in a drunken stupor and a few rotten teeth for me to realize that something had to change.
This lesson is more important than we know.
Priorities, Purpose and Patiencemusic video GIF Giphy
To always make your loved ones a priority. Make it your purpose. My dad worked hard to give us a comfortable life and more opportunities than most. And after what I can only assume was a long and tiring day, the first thing he'd do was sit and watch cartoons with me and my brothers while asking us about our day.
And when he was forced to quit his job and decided to start up his own company, go on for half a year without income, I can only imagine how stressful it was to be so uncertain about the future while providing for a family of 6. I was slightly young but I never knew anything was wrong. He never let it show. And even though he worked probably ten hours a day, he always took the time to ask me how I was doing and go to every important event with us. My dad was and is a superhero. Always will be.
The next thing I'd say I learnt from him was patience. Whenever he was upset with me or thought there was something up, he'd ask me about it and wait until I was done with my side before saying anything. Really made me feel heard and less worried to tell him something even when I knew its not what he'd like to hear.
My dad taught me to indulge my love for learning.
Want to read a history of the Aztecs at 6 years old? He took me to the library and we got a real history book and he helped explain what I had a hard time reading. Want to help in the garage? He taught me all the tools and taught me how to clean them and oil them and how to use them.
He always took me seriously and answered every question. He was my greatest teacher and my biggest defender and my rock. I lost him in 2003 and I have missed him every minute since then. How I raised my kids has a whole lot to do with how he raised me.
Make It Make Sense
My favorite quote came from the early 2000's. He died 11 years ago.
"If the way this world works ever starts to make sense to you, you need to start worrying about yourself."
The world is absolutely as screwed up as it looks. Don't let it screw you up trying to make sense of it.
My dad would say that his father taught him that things would never make sense if he didn't pay attention.
My dad told me that the opposite would be true by the time I grew up. Right he was.
Not About Success
Life is not about success, attaining things, status, etc. Those things have a place, but they shouldn't be your main focus.
Instead, concentrate on being a better version of yourself. Grow, learn, be honest with people and be honest with yourself (which is harder imo). Cultivate real relationships with people. Take care of and be grateful for the one's you love. It's okay to fail, but it's not okay to not try.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.