Lessons From Our Fathers

In honor of Father’s Day, we asked our staff to tell us the most valuable lessons their dads passed onto them.

Daddy-O always told me, “Try everything once. On second thought, go ahead and try it twice. You may not have done it right the first time.”

Victoria Upton, Publisher

My dad taught me it takes a long time to make a friend and only a second to make an enemy. He also taught me to put my all into my work, to never quit, and that every day is a good day for a horrible dad joke.

—Sarah Anderson, Content Producer and Marketing Consultant

My dad always taught my siblings and me that money doesn’t beget fulfillment, and it doesn’t matter what we end up doing in life as long as we are happy. He also told us never to ask, “Why me?” As we did martial arts together, he told us to always be like water or to flow with life rather than fight it.

—Elyse Wild, Editor

My dad is adamant about authenticity. Ever since I can remember, dad was able to make friends everywhere he went, and I’d wonder what his secret was. ‘I’m just me,’ he’d say, and that was good enough for him. He pushed me to accept myself for who I was, embracing the things that made me different. Though I’m grown, he still reminds me to stop worrying about what other people think and continues to encourage me to say what I’d like to say and do the things I’d like to do.

—Kate Branum, Editorial Assistant

Through my dad’s example, I have learned that real success doesn’t come from having a house full of stuff, but rather a house full of love. He taught me that no matter who you are, you only get 24 hours in a day – use them wisely. Other lessons from dad include you don’t have to be rich to be generous, the Bible is a great place to look for answers, and some of the best memories are made enjoying a donut or a huge brownie sundae.

—Katie Zuidema, Reader’s Lounge

My father is a very dedicated man who has a lot of respect for people, doing the right thing for others and being spiritually connected. He always told me that I can have anything in life (anything at all) as long as I was willing to work for it. I’ve held onto this comment, as well as my own spiritual connection, as my journey has taken me through bumpy paths and winding roads. His words remind me never to give up, to learn from failure and to never fear the unknown.

—Jennifer Deamud, Writer

A Daddy’s Girl from day one, my Dad has always led our family with love, heartfelt fun and faith. He’s taught me innumerable lessons over the years and continues to inspire me with his strength in the midst of life’s trials, his grace and warm hugs even when us kids disappoint him, his unwavering trust in the Lord, and the pure joy he gathers just from being among family. His listening ear, understanding and compassionate heart bonds me close to my Daddy, my forever-friend.

—Heather Artushin, Writer

My dad taught me how to drive a stick shift at 7-years-old after seeing Marty McFly drive the Delorean in Back To The Future. He taught me how to shoot pop cans with a bb gun off my grandparent’s deck. The biggest thing he taught me has been about strength, survival and never giving up!

—Hillary Wild, Writer

A member of the greatest generation and a WWII veteran of the Pacific Campaign, my dad once shared that the best instruction he ever received was from a general whom he deeply admired. “Jack,” the general  advised. “Always take extraordinary care of your men—make them your number one priority.” Dad did just that, and he continued to do so his entire life; he deeply loved and supported his family, nurtured friendships, cared for the elderly and fellow veterans, helped strangers in need, and contributed to his community. My dad, Jack Hill, taught by example the value of caring wholeheartedly for others.

—Kim Gill, Writer

Of the many things Dad has shared with me over the years, two things stand out: First, leave the thermostat alone while in his house. Second, is to always practice selflessness with a happy heart.

—Katie Lyons-Church, Writer

My dad always saw the humor in every day situations—something we don’t often do now, as we tend to take life too seriously. His wit is probably one of the things I miss most about him and probably why a sense of humor was the number one quality I looked for (and found) in my husband. Lesson to everyone: Go for the person who makes you laugh, because life can be hard, but humor can get you through.

—Brandi Grimmer, Writer

My daddy was a cowboy from North Dakota. We spent hours riding horses on the prairie. Among all the adventures, including surviving rattlesnake strikes, riding along cliff edges and bringing home feisty bulls, we talked, loved and laughed. He told me, “You will spend your life looking to make friends, but in the end, you will be able to count true friendships on one hand. There are three sides to every story — your side, my side and then, well, there is the truth.”

—Angel Stewart, Writer


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