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In honor of Father’s Day, advice to live by

What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you? Here’s what readers said.

What's the best advice your dad ever gave you?sezer66 - stock.adobe.com

What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you? I asked readers that question, and they responded with a medley of quotable quotes, both profound and pithy (and, OK, a few not fit for print). Here are some of the highlights.

On Ethics

“If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember anything. I think that’s great advice.” – Rich

“Always tip the people who take care of you.” – Michael

“You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.” – Nikki

“Remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.” – Renee


“I’ve always remembered how mad my dad was when (very early in my career) I quit a job to take another, and the boss I was quitting yelled at me. He said, ‘When someone who works for you tells you they’re leaving, you shake their hand and wish them well.’” – Christine

“Always be nice to the people who are helping you.” – George

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On Siblings

“I have nine siblings, and many times during our rebellious teenage years, my dad would say, ‘You’ll be lucky if you have as many loyal, trustworthy, and reliable people in your life as you have fingers on one hand. And your mother and I will always be two of them.’” – Patrick

“‘When we are gone, you will only have each other.’ He would say this to my brother and I when we were arguing or fighting, and as I’ve gotten older, I no longer argue with my brother. But it does remind me to keep our relationship going and strong, because someday my parents will be gone, and I want to still be close with him.” – Shea

On Money

“If you stay single, your pockets will jingle’ — meaning save your money for yourself and don’t spend it on a boyfriend or girlfriend. Even being married for 10 years, I still keep a separate, me-only bank account.” – Bailey


“Always have ‘kiss my ass money’ in the bank in case you have to quit your job to save your soul.” – Lee Carol

“‘Compound interest will be your best friend,’ explained to me for the first time around 7, and I continued on. He was right. This allowed me to leave corporate America to care for my parents.” – Maren

“Get a good job with benefits and maximize your retirement contributions from day one.” – Alanna

On Practical Matters

“My dad had his ‘tenets for good living’: clean underpants, a full roll of toilet paper, a full tank of gas, and a freezer full of ice cream.” – Sabrina

“Never pass up a chance to pee.” – Tracy

“Always have the proper footwear, style be damned. We butted heads so much in high school, but that has been something I think of constantly now. (No flats in the middle of winter, for example.)” – Ashley

“Never give another driver the finger because they might have a gun.” – Adam

“If it can’t be fixed with duct tape and a hammer, it can’t be fixed.” – Tianna

On Identity

“When I was a teen and came out to him as gay, he told me: ‘What you do in your rowboat is your business. What I do in mine is my business.’” – Josie


“The masses are asses.” – Drew

“‘It’s not how you look; it’s how you play.’ I was complaining about how my ugly my soccer shorts were. My dad signed me up to play, and I was one of three girls on the team around 1977. I’m so thankful neither of my parents focused on my appearance. My sister and I were both collegiate athletes, and I became a lawyer and she a doctor.” – Lisa

“Think for yourself. Period.” – Danetta

On Parenting

“‘Better they cry than you cry,” around when to be firm in parenting decisions.” – Erica

“Fish rots from the head.” – Kara

“Take care of [your spouse]. Kids’ needs are important, but you and her come first.” – David

On Success

“You only have to know enough to open the next door; you don’t have to know what’s behind all the doors after that.” – Anna

“You are only as rich as the number of options available to you.” – Elisabeth

“Drive fast and take chances.” – Lee

“If you’re just on time, you’re late.”—Kate

“The secret of success is showing up.” – Katie

“ ‘If you can’t be good, be good at it.’ He always closed all our phone calls when I was in college with this. Still not sure what to do with that sign off. And yes, it was via land line.” – Elizabeth

“When you screw up, kick yourself once, then move on.” – Cheryl

On Improving Your Mood

“There is no mood in the world that cannot be improved by a cup of coffee and a hot shower.” – Leslie


“A saltwater swim is the best medicine.” – Suzan

“On the occasion of a catastrophic job loss, ‘Here’s a twenty. Go buy yourself a bottle of tequila.’” – Robin

“It’s never too cold for ice cream.” – Kate

Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.