Posted by: Patricia Hysong | January 31, 2014

The Importance of Fathers-Responses

Bill's Tree

The following are some of the responses received from the questions posed in the previous post The Importance of Fathers. A variety of solicitations for responses were sent out via email and several social media sites. The responders varied in age from mid 20’s to early 70’s and were mostly female although several were male. Most responses were representative of the responder’s father, but one thing mentioned in the previous post was that sometimes that “father figure” was someone other than a biological father. Those responses are included here as well.

1.   What was the most important thing you learned from your father?

He always taught my brothers and I to stand up for one another and stick together.  We are still to this day each other’s greatest champions. He also ALWAYS demanded respect for my mom and would never let us talk back to her—in his presence anyhow.  He once apparently conquered gravity/time space continuum when I told my mom to shut up and in a millisecond somehow made it from the dining table to the kitchen to slap me on the cheek.

The most important thing I learned from my father is a faith in God.

The most important thing I learned from my father was to be self-sufficient. He wanted me to be able to take care of myself and not be dependent upon anyone unless I wanted to, not because I have to.

Hard work, accountability, respect.

To work hard and nothing in life is free. If you want it, you work for it.

He taught me integrity and hard work. This taught me how to take care of my family.

He taught me integrity and hard work. This taught me how to take care of my family. (This is not a duplication, two people said the same thing.)

To help many, quietly and behind the scenes.  And he let me know we are all smart in different ways. Stupid was a cuss word in our house (especially when my brother and I said it to each other). That being said, it was difficult growing up with a father that graduated with high honors from high school and college.

Only one? Maybe to honor my word. If you say you are going to do something, do it.

Where to start? I would say honesty or maybe loyalty or maybe say what you mean and mean what you say.

The biggest was an appreciation for diversity and the commitment to equal rights. Dad had suffered injustices himself and always advocated for fair treatment of others and helped my sister and I appreciate diverse viewpoints, racial equality, religious equality and gender equality (although I’ve got to admit he did have some stereotypical ideas of jobs women should or shouldn’t do. )

My Dad always said first you take care of your animals then yourself. I still remember him asking as we sat down to a meal “Have you fed your animals?” If the answer was no I had to leave the table and go feed. To this day if I sit down to eat I hear Dad “Have you fed the animals?”

The most important? I would have to say, his teaching me about “guy” things; cars, electrical, as he was an electrician, and most important, laughter! All of these apply to your second question as well!

Forgiveness

The importance of being kind, fair and generous with others and the importance of a strong work ethic

We are the product of our choices not our environment. We can choose not to follow a bad example but rather to find good ones. This sounds negative but I don’t think it is. We can learn from others what we don’t want to be and strive to be more.

The most important thing I learned from him is to love and to love life. He was always interested in things and people. He would talk to anyone and would listen carefully to them.

2.   As an adult, do you feel your father had\continues to have a big influence on your life and how or why?

Without a doubt he has an influence today.  We still chat regularly about politics, religion, and family.  He gives great relationship advice, which he attributes mostly to my mom, whom he claims was a “husband whisperer”.

My father continues to have a huge influence on me. He walks in his faith every single day. He’s 92 and has a wonderful view of the world. He never pretends to be perfect. He lives a simple life. I love how he gets up early every morning so he can watch the sunrise and welcome the day. He starts his day by thanking God for his family and takes time to pray for each one. He has taught me to greet each new day as a gift to be treasured. I learned from him how important family is but also how doing something for someone you don’t know can impact their life in ways you cannot imagine. He also taught me to “give people a little slack” because you never know what battle they are fighting. My father also genuinely cares for and respects my mother. That has been another gift and influence.

Yes – the values I bring to my family are the same as my father instilled in me. I am who I am today because of him, so that is a big influence. He is not as influential in my life as he once was, however the things he taught me still influence my decision-making and daily living.

Yes. I go to him for advice on a lot of things, from finances to home improvement. I share with him my joys and woes in life.  I worry about his health and feel like sometimes our roles have switched, where I worry and give him advice. No matter what, I still think my dad is always right and I am a daddy’s girl.

Absolutely he still continues to teach me life lessons. Wisdom comes from honest learning and aged experience. There is no way I can know all he knows because life lessons have taught him more with age.

Absolutely! When I get caught up in the what-ifs of life I hear him saying, “You can be mad but what good does it do?”

Absolutely! There are times when things are getting to me or there is something bothering me, I will ask myself “What would Dad do?”

He did influence me quite often as an adult until I turned about 45. Now we are just great friends and influence each other all the time.   He is a “present” kind of guy. Always be present in someone’s life, when they are gone it’s too late.  And to save for a rainy day!

He did when I was younger, but not as much anymore.

Yes but in more ways than I can ever explain.

Absolutely! He would have been 99 last week, and I think about him so often. I think back to walks we took together where even as a child he would talk to me about important things. Or times he’d visit here or we’d go back to Chicago or Indiana, or the trips he and Mom took with our family where he would delight in every new experience. I try to ask myself what he’d tell me when I’m faced with difficult decisions and think of him every time I take a trip or go on a hike. He hasn’t been the only influence, but he certainly was and continues to be a big one.

Such an awesome lesson of honoring my four-legged brothers and sisters. Thanks Dad!

More than I ever realized.

Yes, a huge influence. I still ask him for advice on most life matters and I’m often aware of the effect of his influence on me while interacting with others

Fathers have influence through your entire life. To copy what I said above. Fathers can and do remind us what can be and what we don’t want to be as the case may be, but the influence is there even when they are not or were around.

He continues to have an effect. I hope that one day my grandkids can look at me the way that we looked to him. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have the chance to talk to him about things and see what he would do.

A huge thanks to those who responded to the informal survey. Your input is priceless!

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

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