Fathers dry our tears when someone breaks our heart. They tell us to “buck up” when they know we can climb that mountain. They’re there to walk alongside us and to pick us up when we can’t walk anymore.
They prove to us that good men exist, when the ones we want to love us sometimes don’t pan out exactly as planned. But, in our moments of weakness, when we think we can’t go on, they’re that someone we can always come back to.
Here are ten lessons we’ve learned from the courageous, protective, loving men in our lives.
- Patience is a virtue.
Sometimes we spend our lives rushing to grow up, get our dreams jobs, get married, cross things off our “lists,” etc. Learning the gift of “patience” is truly special because it helps us to appreciate how amazing it is when we achieve each milestone in our lives, and how much better it is when we don’t rush each one happening. And, practicing patience helps us become more compassionate, understanding, and thankful overall.
- Anything of value, you have to work hard for.
Whether it’s your college education at a dream school, that writing job you’ve always wanted, or that apartment in the city you’ve longed to move to for years, nothing is handed to you in this life. Fathers teach us the value of hard work and how it pays off when we put every ounce of effort and heart into something.
- But… stop and smell the coffee every once in a while.
Hard work is incredibly valuable, but so is knowing when to pause and take a step back. Look around, smell the roses, and give your mind a break every so often – it’s good for the soul.
- Why pay someone to do something you can learn to do yourself?
Learn how to unclog a drain, hang pictures on a wall, paint, garden, fix things! It’ll make you feel self-sufficient, and that’s a great feeling! Most importantly, make sure your toolbox is fully equipped.
When I moved into my first place, my father got me all the essentials – fancy screwdrivers, a hammer, and just about anything else I would need to repair whatever might break. It seemed ridiculous at first and made me laugh. But, everything has come in handy so far, as well as all the lessons he’s taught me about being my own handyman.
- Be grateful for every little thing AND all the big things.
Be thankful for everything from a roof over your head and hot showers to the wonderful invention that is cold brew coffee. There are people who go without every big and small thing we take for granted every single day.
Dads are great at reminding us of the privileges we have and are experts at putting things in perspective, especially on a day where everything isn’t exactly going our way.
- Happiness is a choice you make every single day.
And, on the days when things aren’t going our way and we can’t seem to just go with the flow, we can make the choice to be happy regardless. That’s a wonderful, little thing, isn’t it?
- People make mistakes, and you can always choose to forgive.
We are all perfectly imperfect. Once you accept this, you can be graceful, humble, and choose to avoid the path of stubbornness. You can forgive, and maybe not forget, but you can elect to not let anger eat away at you.
After all, like Buddha says: “Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.”
- Family time is precious.
Dads always instill that the time we have together – good and bad – should be cherished because, at the end of the day, all we have is each other.
A few years ago, I road tripped down the California coast on Route 1 with my parents and my two siblings. For a week we were crammed in a minivan together, occasionally fighting for control of the radio. Besides the moments we were driving each other crazy and then thinking we were going to die driving off the cliffs with no guardrail, it was incredibly beautiful. It ended up being one of the greatest trips of our lives, because we were all together.
- There’s never a wrong time for chocolate.
No argument there. It pretty much cures all bad emotions, and if you inherited your father’s sweet tooth, that’s just one more thing you two can bond over – especially if you’re both trying to bounce back from a bad day.
- You can always come back home…
For a hug, if you’ve lost your job (or even quit your job with no backup plan), called off an engagement, or just need the greatest pep talk of all time.
Dads are the best at talking you down from something that seems earth-shattering.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there – the ones we’re lucky enough to get to hug today, the fathers-to-be, and to the ones who are not with us but leave us with the fondest of memories and the warmest of hearts.