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What We Learned From Dad

Aleksandar Nakic
Getty Images

This Sunday, we're celebrating fathers for a lot of reasons: for their support and love, their jokes, and most importantly, their lessons.

Weekend Edition asked listeners to tell us about some of the best lessons you got from your fathers.

You gave us a lot.

We heard about how to appreciate that people can change; how a good deed should be done "honestly." We heard you talking about the value of compassion; the importance of simple all-around encouragement; understanding how to be patient; and why you should treat everyone like "kings and queens."

Here are a few examples of what you learned:

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance

"I was trying to get my bicycle tube fixed. I was putting patching over the patching and it was never working," says Dana Hammond of Northville, Mich. "My dad came out and said, 'You can't patch over patching.' And I just kind of thought that that was a great life lesson there, too. I mean you could apply that to just about anything."

How to stay active — and like it

"One thing my dad taught me is how to run," Benjamin Torres of Indianapolis told NPR. "He taught me how to breathe, how to pace myself, how to stretch. That's something I'll always hold onto and treasure. Him giving me the gift of the sheer exhilaration of physical fitness."

Just listen

"So my dad taught me the power of listening," Lindsey Beagley of Mesa, Ariz., says. "Ever since I was old enough to have any kind of social drama at school, I have memories of my dad listening to me go on and on about what happened. And his listening was, in retrospect, really validating. And probably that contributed a lot to my sense of self-confidence and my self-love."

Dad jokes are the highest form of humor

"My dad taught me that having a sense of humor will get you through an amazing amount of difficulty in life. His sense of humor is still a joy to me — and yes, he does make bad dad jokes, but I love them," Kathleen Mulroy of Summerville, S.C. told us.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for NPR.org and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.