In honor of Father's Day, we asked Rethink:Rural readers to share their dads' best advice. We share our favorites.
William Smart was just the man to inspire the movement that led to the creation of the Father’s Day holiday we all now celebrate.
In the late 1800s, the Civil War veteran’s wife died in childbirth, leaving him to raise a daughter and five sons under the age of 16 alone.
He must have done well: after his death, his daughter, Sonora Smart, worked with her church in 1908 to begin celebrating Father’s Day. The tradition quickly caught on throughout the United States, and the holiday was celebrated unofficially for many years. Lyndon Johnson made it a national holiday in 1966.
We love dads because they are the strong rock of the family, who teach us to be strong, too, and to stand up for what we believe in. The lessons learned from a father’s advice carry on even long after our dads are gone.
We asked Rethink:Rural readers to share some of their favorite advice their fathers gave them, and we received more than 50 beautiful memories of advice delivered with love. Here's some of our favorite fatherly advice:
“My dad taught me how to hold a hammer and use a saw when I was 4. He taught me how to be safe with power tools when I was 6. He taught me the basics of building, carpentry, drywall hanging, plumbing, electrical, and IT. I went into my first shop class in junior high able to adjust the 50-year-old band saw. He took me camping and taught me how to fish. He showed me how to handle and be safe with guns and cars. He coached my baseball and basketball teams. But he never taught me that I was a girl, that I was anything less or different or somehow incapable of doing anything that he had learned to do. It was never even mentioned. He gives no one single piece of advice. Rather, he is always there, as an advisor. If the world had more dads like mine, it would be a better place.” -- Lisa Johnson, Jacksonville, FL
Lisa’s quote was our top pick in the dad quotes contest. She received a Man Crates personalized camp axe crate for her entry. Guess who she gave it to?
“My father taught me how to live off the land: farm, hunt and fish. Build a house, be a mechanic on vehicles. But the most precious advice of all was he told me to love and care for others and that would make my heart and life the fullest.” -- Johnny Young, Houston, Texas
"My father's father, who died when he was 10, always told him, 'Never sell land unless it's to buy more land,' and my dad passed that advice on to me." -- Lisa Broward, Callahan, Florida
“Never get between the cow and the fence.” -- Joy Midkiff Alba, Bedias, Texas
“The best advice my Pops ever gave me were these words: ‘Walk a mile in my shoes.’ In other words , think before you pass judgment on another person.” - Marci Potts, Micanopy, Florida
“Be careful about what you ask, wish, or pray for. You just might get it, and it may not turn out to be exactly what you thought it would be.” -- Adam Kelley, Troy, Alabama
“My dad told me when I was six (and wanted a motorcycle ) that I could have anything I want, if I was willing to work for it.” -- Valerie Stuch Johnson, St. George, Georgia
"No man is totally useless. He can always be used as a bad example." -- Phillip Hunt, Greer, South Carolina