Father’s Day is one of those holidays that always leaves me pondering gifts until the last minute.
By: Chinwe Okona
Really, I’m terrible at holidays and gift-giving. For me, finding a gift by a specific deadline makes me feel anxious and often like I’ve settled on a gift that I don’t love. Though my father is the person I probably have the easiest time thinking of presents for, I’m not sure there will ever be a perfect enough gift to express the gratitude I have for my dad. As I drove to post office earlier this week to mail my father his gift, I thought about the things I’m most grateful to have learned from him in my life:
Career and Financial Literacy
For as long as I can remember, my dad has always been a great resource for work and school advice, as well as advice about money and finances. Though I didn’t realize the value in the information as a teen, as I’ve grown into my adult years, being able to call my father to talk through a difficult personal relationship at work or a complicated negotiation has not only been invaluable, but has also allowed us to bond over some of our shared experiences.
Critical Thinking Skills
Though we’ve always talked about work, school, and money, as I’ve gotten older, our conversations have come to include politics, society, culture, and even my horror stories about dating. Though we are of two very different generations and sometimes we disagree, I’ve learned to not only to voice my opinions, but how to eloquently explain and defend my point of view. Even in terms of problem solving in my personal life, my dad has never given me all the answers; instead, he always challenges me to think through problems and we work through things together.
That Making Mistakes Is Okay
As a kid, I thought my dad was perfect. Now that I’m grown, I’ve been able to see him more as a person rather than just my father, and see the ways in which he has dealt with tough times. I admire the way in which my dad admits when he is wrong. From him, I’ve learned that making a mistake doesn’t make you a failure. Instead, the way in which we come back from mistakes is what truly characterizes our person-hood.
To Have A Strong Sense of Self-Worth
Perhaps the things I’m most grateful to have received from my dad are the daily lessons in self-worth and personal value. Even as a child, I felt respected by my father in a way that I think children yearn to be respected and spoken to. As a teenager, my dad always boosted my self-esteem and reminded me that the world was bigger than the tribulations of high school. Even now, at the times I feel most vulnerable and unsure of myself, reassurance is always just a phone call away.
Though I’ll never be able to reciprocate everything that he’s given to me, I make an effort every day to remember and express my thanks for the way he has contributed to my life. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
What lessons are you most grateful to have learned from the father-figure in your life? Let us know in the comments below!