Pay off your debts
My dad came to this country from Leon, Nicaragua, in the mid-1950s as a medical resident at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. The first day he arrived, he met my mother who was a French/Irish woman studying to be a nurse. They fell in love, eloped, and had six children. I am the fourth of six children and I was born and raised in McAllen, TX. During my years at home, my dad taught me a lot about money and how to handle it. He taught me to pay my bills and not to owe anyone any money as much as possible. My mom and dad sent me to a small, private college in Dallas and to teach me my first finance lesson, they applied for a student loan which I was to pay back. I paid for that loan after I graduated from college in about seven years. I remember how gratified I felt after it was all paid off and I knew then that if I could pay back that loan and commit to it, I could pay off anything I borrowed in the future. This lesson in paying back what you owe has been the greatest gift I have carried with me my entire adult life. My dad has always been the person who has had the most impact in my life and I love him so much. Happy Father’s Day, daddy!
–Lauren Useda Law, Dallas, TX
Be your own woman
My dad always told me to be fiercely independent. And going with that, he made sure I understood that I am defined by my daily actions, my well-being, and my career… not by who I am married to. Words that I live by.
–Stacey Lavish, New York, NY
Think before you act
One word. “Think!” My dad always pushed me and my brother to think things through first. And he had no patience for the excuse, “Oh, I didn’t know that would happen.” It sounds simple, maybe, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a rule I live by which has served me well and that I [hope] am passing on to my children.
–Lisa Schnettler, executive producer, Prevention.com
Go with the flow
My dad taught me a lesson I apply every day of my life–”the only thing constant is change.” It reminds me that life is meant to be always evolving, and not to let things–however big or small–frazzle me.
--Lauren Gelman, senior health editor, Prevention
Reach for the stars
My dad has always told me to never accept mediocrity. So I try to live by those words, never settling for second best and always striving for me.
–Stacey Feintuch, Washington Township, NJ
My dad taught me that by just being around, he made me feel special. I can remember when I was younger he would take me, my brother and sister to the ball field to enhance our batting and catching skills. Somehow, neighborhood kids would always show up and want to play. My dad would include these other kids in the activities and not miss a beat. I, of course, was jealous at the time that he was allowing these kids to take time away from us spending time with dad. Now that I look back on it, he was the dad who showed up and played with his kids, when other dads weren’t around. The other kids must have been jealous of us, that we had a dad who took time out of his day to play with his kids and make them feel important.
–Katie Kelly, Jenkintown, PA