SURVEY SAYS: Dad’s Wisdom

Last week, in honor of Father’s Day, I asked NewsDash readers, “What words of wisdom from your Dad would you like to share with NewsDash readers?”

The responses were wise, practical, funny, touching, and, when compared to our similar survey for Mom’s words of wisdom (see “SURVEY SAYS: Mom’s Wisdom”), really show the difference between mothers and fathers. Some responses also showed that actions can speak louder than words.  

One of my favorite responses is: “When carrying a plate of soup look at the floor ahead of you, not at the soup.”  


Never shave below the collar – it’ll grow faster once shaved and get caught in your top button…. 


“If a task is once begun, never stop until it’s done. Let it be great or small, do it well or not at all.” 


“Do it right the first time.” (Second favorite…”Don’t scuff your feet, you’ll wear out your shoes!) 


Just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do anything that you want to [in regards to a career]. That didn’t mean that because I was a girl, I could do anything I want and get away with it. 🙂 


“I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it too!” or the classic ” I don’t care! Go ask your Mother!” 


1) “That’s why they call it work and not play.” 2) “Make a decision and live with it.” 


Daddy emphasized that we should work hard and be successful “to keep me in the style to which I would like to become accustomed.” 


Who ever said life was fair? 


We call it Dad’s “Rocking Chair Philosophy of Life”: Don’t waste your energy getting upset about things that you cannot change. Save all that energy for the time when you will really need it…to protect your family, loved ones, way of life. It’s simple really…think twice…act once…make it count. He is 84…going strong, and I think he may outlive us all. Thanks, Daddy! 


Never let your gas tank go below a quarter of a tank. You never know when you might have an emergency in the middle of the night! 


Save 10% of all the money you make!–Jim Masterson 


For the budding HR professional that I was, Dad offered this gem on “office romances”: “Son, never fish off the company dock”. Perfect HR advice 30 years ago and today………. 


Don’t go into HR. As an engineer, HR was the enemy. 


You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. 


Pay yourself first. 

Verbatim (cont.)  

Dad was earthy and plain spoken: "Never sh-- where you sleep," meaning never get romantically involved with a co-worker. 


Save your money for a raining day. Your hip pocket is your best friend. The only thing I have to do is die and pay taxes. 


Whenever one of my siblings or I got hurt (never seriouly injured), my Dad provided perspective by saying "It's a long way from your heart." 


Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. While my dad was a private pilot and meant this literally, this sentiment is applicable to numerous situations. 


You can't listen when your mouth is open. 


When my first child was born there were lots of commercials for various things to make your baby smarter. I mentioned them to my father one day and he said, "You want your child to be a good person first, smart second." I never ordered any of those things and I now have two wonderful grown men who are "good people first and smart second." 


Dad was a man of few words. Communication was effective, however. With one look I could tell if he showed happiness, anger, disappointment, pride, or any other emotion or state of mind. Rewards were rare but appreciated. Punishment was corporal (he'd probably be sued by today's liberal proponents without children) and satisfied the intent of behavior modification...and I loved him for all of it. 


Do as I say, not as I do! 


You lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. 


Because I said so 


Education is never wasted. 


Whatever you do, don't get caught! 


My father's actions affected us so much more than his words. He worked three jobs to feed his family, when people made negative comments about others he always came back with a positive comment about them, and he was always helping his friends, neoghbors & community with any projects/problems they had. He does not realize it, but I guarantee that the church won't hold everyone when they have his funeral. 


If you would like to see what your wife/girlfriend will be like in 25 years look at her mother. 


Life is life a road map. You know where you are and what your goal or destination is; however there may be traffic (delays) or roadblocks that lead you to a detour. Learn something from each of the delays and detours. Sometimes it is the road, not the destination, which has the biggest impact on your life. BTW, my father always thought he was not a smart man because he dropped out of school in 8th grade and was an auto body man. He did finally get his GED and Associated degree in teaching auto body (his goals). However, his was always the smartest man I knew and is missed. 


It takes just as long to do something right as it does to do something wrong. 


My dad's advice was pretty simple: "Do anything you want, just don't get caught..." 

Verbatim (cont.)  

My father was raised during the Great Depression. This taught him to be very thrifty. He always told me to save money and live within my means. How much better off would the US and the European Union be today with that in mind? 


My father would never want to dictate his thoughts to my sister or I. He would always want to make our decisions feel like they came from us. His famous line was, "You may want to consider...." and then tell us what he thought. (If you didn't already guess, he was a Psychologist). 


Don't WORK for a living...enjoy what you do. 


A good dad would make his children laugh, but at times, he has to make them cry. 


There is very little a nice hot bath won't cure. 


Never date ugly women. 


It's not one phrase or saying I'm remembering, but his doing. I guess what remember is that if I was afraid I went to mom but if I wanted to overcome it I went to dad. If I wanted encouragement I went to mom but if I needed to learn how I went to dad. If I wanted empathy I went to mom but when I needed direction I went to dad. When I wanted a hand-out I went to mom but when I needed a hand-up I went to dad. He wasn't a "soft" man but taught me about the "soft" spot of a man. I wish he could have seen me, finally, grown up. How different, I wish, we'd be now. 


You can't shine a sneaker. 


I tell my son what my father told me, "If you want a job, work." And, when he grumbles, I pass on another bit of wisdom from my father, "No matter how bad you think you have it, there is someone out there who has it worse." 


Don't do anything you wouldn't want me to read about in the newspaper! 


My Father was a quiet man who didn't offer "words of wisdom" rather he taught us by example. He was a janitor in the school system who wasn't ashamed of what he did. He worked hard to provide for his family, came home at night, helped around the house and took us, not sent us, to church every Sunday. No matter how tight money was my sister and I were not allowed to work while we were in school, our job was to get an education. My Father insisted that we do well in school and take advantage of the education he never had. He had to quit school in the 8th grade and go to work after his Father died. He died on June 17th 22 years ago which happened to be Father's Day just as it is this year. I still miss him. 


Son, even on Father's Day, it's still Mother's Day. 


When carrying a plate of soup look at the floor ahead of you, not at the soup. 


Not sure if they're words of wisdom, but I remember my father saying, "For cost you pass, for free you take." He was of Scottish ancestry, and he always talked about how his ancestors in Scotland were incredibly cheap and would take anything for free! We used to laugh about it! 


My dad was more in the speak softly (and infrequently) and carry a big stick (also infrequently) mold. Mostly he led by example - he was quiet (too quiet sometimes), kept his opinions to himself, and managed to keep an open mind about most things. One thing I learned from him - tell your kids that you love them, and that you're proud of them - every chance you get. 


Never buy the cow unless you know it consistently gives good milk. 


If you may marry a woman for her money, you will spend the rest of your life earmimg it. 


1)Tell me who you hang with and I'll tell you what you are. 2) Get to know his uncle. 3) It's not how much you make, it's what you save. 


Don't Be Lazy & Don't Settle for Being Average