Reflecting on the lessons taught by our dads — and yours — for Father's Day

Emmy award-winning writer Lew Schneider weighs in on Father's Day.
Emmy award-winning writer Lew Schneider weighs in on Father's Day. Jim, the Photographer/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pops.

Our fathers are full of lessons they intended to teach us, and some of those we learned by watching them.

We asked you to share a few and you responded with the memorable, the funny and the bittersweet lessons you gained from your dads.

Want to join in? Tweet your dad's lesson with #KPCCdad, post on our Facebook page, tell us confidentially and become a source for KPCC, or record your own sound in the dropbox below.

Lessons from our dads...

Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pops. Our fathers are full of lessons they intended to teach us, and some of those we learned by watching them. We asked you to share a few.

Storified by 89.3 KPCC · Fri, Jun 15 2012 21:19:14

Along with the big life essentials, some of my favorite things are: how to bait my own hooks, clean roof gutters, mow and trim a lawn, carve a turkey, catch a golfball and to look "left, right, left" when crossing the street.Phalana Phalana
Lesson: How to love and how to live

"He was a gifted public speaker and motivater and a frustrated writer and journalist who had a passion for the lessons learned in History books! I was just sixteen years old the last year of my father's life. He was my best friend in the whole world . . . he taught me to appreciate the good in other people, the healing power of laughter, to be curious, to pursue my dreams, to have a positive outlook on life . . . and that life can be short. "Do It Now" was his motto! David E. Martin, was just forty-two years old when he died, but he managed to fill me with enough love to last a whole lifetime!" (Lynne Martin Tillman)                         
@KPCC #KPCCDAD My father, hired by the LAFD in 1947, served the City 40 years. He taught me that through hard work, anything is achievable.Chief Brian Cummings
The biggest lesson I've learned from my father is one that he started teaching big-time after his twin brother died at the age of 58--live each day like it's worth living. He's now 73, and he doesn't bear grudges, doesn't take things personally, and never turns down an invitation--whether it be to a BBQ or as a tag-along on a trip to Hawaii. He lives the saying "every day above ground is a good one!"Suzy Hughes
Lesson: Don't put your job above your family
Sadly, my dad taught me important life lessons the hard way -- through his own suffering. When I was young, he was always at work, and when he wasn't at his office, he was traveling all over the country making sales for his job. When he became too ill to work (apparently people don't like to buy things from a disabled man), he was at home more. While it was hard for me to see my dad sick, the time we spent together allowed me to really get to know him. And I got the message loud and clear: do not put your job above your family.

I also learned that no one is promised tomorrow, let alone a healthy tomorrow. I have traveled within the US and abroad, enjoying the sights on foot while I was young.  (Christy McConville)            
My dad taught me to value time w/family over time spent at work, and to travel+explore the world while I was young+healthy. #KPCCdadC McConville
Lesson: Work hard, be independent
My dad came to his country when he was 19 years old from Mexico, and he has been a back cook since. Now 48 years old, I've witnessed him bring us (my sister, mom and I) from a place infested in roaches to building a nice home here in Pasadena. So, one thing I've always noticed from my dad is his work ethic. He's never missed a day of work unless his kidney stones wouldn't let him (literally) get out of bed. Even with all these circumstances, he's managed to never ask anyone for help. His independence is something I admire, and I strive to be just like him just a bit modified. I'm going to school and I am hoping to get a high enough degree so that my dad and mom can one day embrace everything they've worked for, for the last 20+ years and yes, that's the american dream....I don't have the perfect dad, but what he's done is one in a million. (Yesenia Ramirez

?"Never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing" - that was one of his mottos...although I'm not sure why he always said that having worked as a civil servant all his life...Diane Ward
My dad read to me when I was a kid, I fell in love with stories with people and with imagination and creativity #kpccdadTrent Christensen
Lesson: The truth above all
When I was very young, my father caught me lying. He told me that he'd never trust me again. Years later, he loaned me his car to drive to work. As I was leaving work at the end of the day, the radio antenna hit a low-lying tree branch and broke off.

After I got home, I told him about it. He asked me how it happened, and, after I considered lying to him, telling him that I didn't know, I decided to tell him the truth. He told me that that was all right and that if I didn't know how it had happened, he wouldn't have loaned me his car in the future, becuase he would have considered it unsafe.

Ever since this incident, I have gone to great lengths to tell the truth. In addition, if I give in to the urge to lie, I go back and confess to the lie and tell the truth. (Brian Epstein)
My Dad always taught me to be honest. I remember him reading the Book of Virtues to me, specifically a story about a father & son who go to the movies. The father asks and pays for 2 regular tickets. The cashier says, "you know, if you got a child's ticket for your son, I wouldn't have known he was older than 12. The father promptly answered that it would have been dishonest, and he wanted to lead his son by example. (or something more eloquent than that). I walked into a bathroom stall yesterday and saw a dollar bill on the ground, and returned it to the woman who had just walked out. The smallest gesture of honesty can go a long way, and I have my Dad to thank for instilling that in me.Jacqueline Scahill
Lesson: A child needs a mother...and a father
My parents divorced when I was 5. I remember them fighting a lot. I remember being in the car with my father when he was drinking. After the divorce, he moved to Arizona to avoid paying child support. I saw him perhaps 4 or 5 more times before he died, never for more than an hour.

The one lesson I learned from him is that a child needs both a mother and a father who loves them. If you aren't willing to commit to a lifetime of support, don't have children.  (Thomas Keener)   
@KPCC My father was my first acting teacher. Teaching me to avoid indicating when I was 9. 2 years later, I won a Tony award. #dadDaisy Eagan
@KPCC My dad taught me that something that has no cost has no value. #KPCCdadNick Waters
My father's best advice is this: "Always leave things as you found them. If the gate is closed, leave it closed." #KPCCDadRandall Reynolds
My dad inspires me to live my dreams by reminding me that this is not a dress rehearsal for my for my life, but the real thing! #kpccdadAlison Bonn

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