Find Your Freedom Friday: What I Learned from My Dad

By
June 18, 2010

At the time I thought he was talking about mowing the lawn or putting in your best effort in on the field. Now I realize that he was talking about...

Today for Find Your Freedom Friday, we’re celebrating Father’s Day by asking the United Country home office team what they have learned from their fathers. The variety of answers surprised – and delighted – me, and I’m happy to share these stories with you. Happy Father’s Day!

One of my father’s many modicums of advice that he provide to me, my brothers and sister while growing up was, If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. At the time I thought he was talking about mowing the lawn or putting in your best effort in on the field. Now I realize that he was talking about every facet of life. I will forever be grateful for having a father that cared to instill values that I am proud to have today. (Dan Duffy, chief executive officer)

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My father, Carl Rose, taught me a love of the outdoors. He often took my younger brother Lloyd and me on hunting and fishing trips. He took time for us when he had to have been exhausted from his long hours as a carpenter on large construction projects. Yet he still found time to be outdoors with us, sometimes to play catch or to show us the how to ride motorcycles. As Lloyd and I have grown older, we’ve had the chance to pass on hunting, fishing and other joys to our own children. We have been able to take Dad on our hunting trips or out to the ponds to fish. In more recent years we have spent more time driving Dad around to let him enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. Now Dad has emphysema, and it has robbed him of his stamina and the strength that we used to be amazed by. A stroke has made it more difficult for him to visit with us about what he remembers about past hunts. But we know many of the stories and can share them with our kids in the years to come. Dad turned 84 in January and we don’t have much time left to thank him for the most valuable gift he could have given us: his time! (Dave Rose, region vice president)

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My dad taught me a valuable lesson that teamwork and a positive attitude are two key attributes to being successful. (Amanda Siler, project manager)

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My dad taught me to stand for something (or you will fall for anything). He taught me to not to be afraid to speak my mind. If we made a mistake, we would have to go back and keep doing it until we got it. Lesson learned: Try to do right the first time. When I was younger my dad would take us to Licking, Mo., where he was born and raised. I loved hearing the stories. I have also been blessed with a stepdad, who has taught me about patience and how just being there is so important. It’s not quantity attention, it’s quality. (Sheila Hill, Web development assistant)

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What I’ve learned from my father is to never give up on what you want. If you fail the first time, learn from your mistakes and try again – and maybe again! (Jill Bryant, Internet marketing coordinator)

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My father taught me the joy of music. I loved sitting in parks listening to orchestras play, going to musicals with him or watching Lawrence Welch on TV and seeing the look of absolute rapture on his face. Music and dance are powerful expressions and outlets for all the emotions in life – joy, exuberance, praise, sadness, pain and regret and the melancholy/happy feelings we experience as we meet new challenges and face changes in our lives. My father has passed on his love of music to me. (Linda Richardson, administrative assistant)

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The most important thing that I learned from my father was to be proud of who you are. Despite your race, economic class, political or religious views, there should be nothing or no one on earth that can intimidate you due to what you believe in it as long as you truly believe in it. Words and actions only hold as much validity as you allow them to and it is up to you how deeply you are affected by others. (Cinnamon Tyler, customer care professional)

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The most important thing my father taught me was that hard work will never go unrewarded. Many people take this to mean instant monetary reward, but that is not the case. Hard work is rewarded with a sense of what works and what doesn’t. It is rewarded with personal character that will last a lifetime. It is rewarded with feelings of accomplishment and the satisfaction that can only be received from a job well done. My father is 80 years old and still goes to work at the trucking company he helped build, because he knows how valuable a day’s work can be. (Stephen Kretsinger, copy associate)

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As I think back on the lessons I learned from my dad, the first memories that come to mind are the common anecdotes I often heard growing up. You know, those fun little quips like, “You weren’t born in a barn” (in other words, close the door and stop running in and out of the house), or “You make a better door than a window” (you’re blocking the TV). But the truth is that the most important lessons he taught were through his actions more than his words. I learned the value of hard work and the personal satisfaction that comes from a job well done. I learned that love displayed through actions can be just as powerful as spoken words. Well into adulthood I would hear my dad say the same phrase as I prepared to leave after a visit home: “I’d better go out and check your oil and tires before you get on the road.” A kind gesture can speak volumes. But, above all other lessons I learned from my dad, I grew up understanding the value of laughter. (Kyla Barcus, public relations manager)

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My father taught me the value of tolerance. He never wanted my brother or me to judge people based on their appearance, their beliefs, their hobbies or their station in life. It was something he impressed upon me at an early age, and I still consider it an indispensable part of who I am. (Doug Skiles, writing manager)

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My father taught me MANY life lessons, but the one that stands out most often is: BE RESPONSIBLE. If you do that, then everything else will normally fall into place. (Shawn Terrel, vice president of Auction Services)

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Success is found at the intersection of inspiration and perspiration. (Mike Duffy, president)

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The most important thing I learned from my father is the significance of leading a life that you can honestly look back on and be proud of with no regrets. Celebrate the achievements and good times while learning from the challenges life throws at all of us. (Kevin Oldham, vice president of marketing services)

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My father taught me about perseverance. He taught me to never ever give up. Funny thing is, he taught me without even knowing it. We used to play catch in the backyard. He would make wild throws with softballs and with Frisbees just to challenge me. When I missed, he would say, “Just keep trying Jaynie, you’ll get it next time.” When I was going through my job search last year, he said the same thing! (Jayne Ann Conklin, customer care manager)

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My Dad was an executive at Allied Signal and he told me to NEVER cry in front of my boss over work-related issues. Never have, never will. This not the best or most important thing he ever taught me, but it’s on my priority list. (Joyce Reeves, listing clerk)

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I would have to say the most important things my father taught me was to be honest, always be on time and calling in sick to work was forbidden unless hospitalized. Those values have always remained with me and have made me who I am today. (Lisa Malick, customer care professional)

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My father taught me to establish an automatic savings plan, and to never, ever spend more than you make. (Tom Schoeller, region vice president)

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The most important thing that I learned from my father is that hard work is rewarded. I watched my dad go back to school, start his own business and work hard to make it successful. He is a great man with a good work ethic. (Amy Hoffman, Web development assistant)


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