In honor of Father’s Day, we asked the men in our lives to share the paternal words of wisdom they learned from their dads. Here’s the advice—and lessons—that stuck with them through the years.

“Everything you want to know about someone you can learn on the golf course.”
—Adam, son of Dan

“My dad’s advice was more by example, other than telling us we should never wear holey socks or underwear! In terms of work-related advice, we worked in the family business during high school and college and were never shielded from issues. We were present to watch his interactions with staff. They were straightforward, honest, caring and professional. Maybe the admonishment to not wear holey clothes was really the core—to be a complete person, to be professional (or anything else, fill in the blank) to others, we needed to be the same inside.”
—David, son of Jim


“Don’t believe it until you see it in writing. And when we were considering buying a house before our wedding, my dad said, ‘Don’t make more of a commitment to a piece of property than to each other.’”
—D, son of G

“Don’t worry about it—just be yourself.”
—Jesse, son of Ed

“I think it was more a demonstration of values versus advice. My dad used to volunteer for a meal delivery program for AIDS patients. We all got involved—I even donated money and time, and food from my bar mitzvah. It stuck with me, helping those in need, but even more with the most marginalized. I think it’s important to do what’s right no matter what the broader perception is. I think he demonstrated that.”
—Jeremy, son of David

“Always carry a handkerchief.”
—Charlie, son of Albert

“My dad gave me great advice in that ‘all it takes is one’ to help me deal with the frustration in the past of struggling toward my goal, like getting hired at a company.”
—Jeff, son of Rich

“He would always say, ‘You’ll figure it out.’”
—Dave, son of Ed

“The best advice my father gave me was during my sophomore year in college. I was shifting between majors, unable to pinpoint where my passion was. He told me that no matter what degree I ultimately graduated with that an education was something that no one could ever take away from me. It would always be with me for my lifetime. That has always stuck with me and pushed me to complete a master’s degree as well.”
—Ethan, son of Ron

“Don’t wear white shoes after Labor Day. Or ever.”
—Matt, son of Mark

“I think the best advice he gave me was leading by example. He’s in a creative field and really loves what he does. He has never pushed me or any of my siblings to do something that was ‘safe,’ career-wise—he let us explore what we love and taught us that it’s OK if it takes time to get there.”
—Ian, son of David

“Education is the ticket to success. And war is not the answer to the world’s problems.”
—Paul, son of Arun