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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



The most important domestic challenge facing the US at the close of the twentieth century is the re-creation of fatherhood as a vital social role for men. ~~ David Blankenhorn


As a substitute father for hundreds of youths over the past thirteen years, I have yet to encounter a young person in difficulty whose trouble could not be traced to the lack of a strong father image in his home. ~~ Paul Anderson


Even if society dictates that men and women should behave in certain ways, it is fathers and mothers who teach those ways to children -- not just in the words they say, but in the lives they lead. ~~ Augustus Y. Napier


We live in the past to an astonishing degree, the myth we live by, the presumptions we make. Nobody can look in the mirror and not see his mother or father. ~~ E. L. Doctorow (see Said Who?)


To become a father is easy, but to be a father is difficult. ~~ Unattributed


My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


A king realizing his incompetence can either delegate or abdicate his duties. A father can do neither. If only sons could see the paradox, they would understand the dilemma. ~~ Marlene Dietrich


Since mothers are more likely to take children to their activities -- the playground, ballet, or karate class, birthday parties -- they get a chance to see other children in action… Fathers usually don’t spend as much time with other people's kids; because of this, they have a narrower view of what constitutes "normal" behavior, and therefore what should or shouldn't require parental discipline. ~~ Ron Taffel


I believe that I'm letting my kids see that a man can be tender, sensible, warm, attentive to feelings, and present, just plain there. That's important to me, because I didn't get any of that from my own father, and I am realizing now how much I missed it. ~~ Unattributed


Dad needs to show an incredible amount of respect and humor and friendship toward his mate so the kids understand their parents are sexy, they're fun, they do things together, they're best friends. Kids learn by example. If I respect Mom, they're going to respect Mom. ~~ Tim Allen


Like many fathers, he had a favorite ritual: to put his whole family in the car and drive somewhere. It didn't matter where -- what mattered was that he was behind the wheel. ~~ Signe Hammer


In a home that's a refuge, chores can wait a few moments while a child strokes and confides in a cat. A father can watch television with a bowl of popcorn in his lap and choose not to answer the phone. A mother can relax in a tub undisturbed while her worries melt away. ~~ Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg [Table Talk]


I worked hard and made my own way, just as my father had. And just, I'm sure, as he hoped I would. I learned, from observing him, the satisfaction that comes from striving and seeing a dream fulfilled. ~~ Sigourney Weaver


[Of her father:] He always said, "Babe, pay your own way. Don't owe anybody anything." And that's the way I've lived. ~~ Lily Tomlin


Fathers are something else. They always give up their turn by saying something like "Go ask your mother. She knows about things like that." ~~ Mary Kuczkir


I recently turned fifty, which is young for a tree, midlife for an elephant, and ancient for a quarter miler, whose son now says, "Dad, I just can't run the quarter with you anymore unless I bring something to read." ~~ Bill Cosby


Many people now believe that if fathers are more interested in raising children than they were, children and sons in particular will learn that men can be warm and supportive of others as well as be high achievers. Thus, fathers' involvement may be beneficial not because it will help support traditional male roles, but because it will help to break them down. ~~ Joseph Pleck


[On his father:] By looking at us, listening to us, hearing us, respecting our opinions, affirming our value, giving us a sense of dignity, he was unquestionably our most influential teacher. ~~ Leo Buscaglia


Father was never late. Indeed, punctuality was his eleventh commandment. He saw lateness as a signal to the boss that you didn't care about your job, a potentially suicidal misstep. "If you're to be there at seven," he lectured me, "you be there at six forty-five. And you don't go to the water bucket more than once an hour." ~~ Dan Rather


As for my father, few souls are less troubled. He can be simply pleased with us, pleased that we exist, and, from the vantage point of his wondrously serene old age, he contemplates our lives almost as if they were books he can dip into whenever he wants. His back pages, perhaps. ~~ Angela Carter


They didn't believe their father had ever been young; surely even in the cradle he had been a very, very small man in a gray suit, with a little dark mustache and flat, incurious eyes. ~~ Richard Shattuck


In peace the sons bury the fathers, but in war the fathers bury the sons. ~~ Croesus


He followed in his father's footsteps, but his gait was somewhat erratic. ~~ Nicola Bentley


[On his father:] He has called on the best that was in us. There was no such thing as half trying. Whether it was running a race or catching a football, competing in school -- we were to try. And we were to try harder than anyone else. We might not be the best, and none of us were, but we were to make the effort to be the best. "After you have done the best you can," he used to say, "the hell with it." ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


My father loved me very much. I was lucky, I knew it. He believed in me. In return, I adored him, saw him as my hero and wanted to be like him… even though he was an alcoholic. ~~ Linda Ellerbee


Finding out about fathers is not easy. It's only in the last twenty years that they have been considered by the psychological community as much more than the "other" parent, taking a very distant second place to Mom. ~~ Victoria Secunda [Women and Their Fathers]


He who brings up, not he who begets, is the father. ~~ The Bible


My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement. ~~ Patricia in Joe Versus the Volcano (film, 1990)


Men are more like the times they live in than they are like their fathers. ~~ Ali inb-abi-Talib


A man knows when he is growing old because he begins to look like his father. ~~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Early on, my abandoning father had set the pattern of my love life on the loom of my subconscious. ~~ Jane Stanton Hitchcock


The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them. ~~ Bertrand Russell


[On her father:] He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to go into the basement by himself. He cut himself shaving, but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood that when it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription filled. He took lots of pictures… but he was never in them. ~~ Erma Bombeck


How would I describe my father? Cool. He's cool. He's learned. He knows a lot of stuff. ~~ Wynton Marsalis


Father, I write all my poems so I may bury you more kindly.

Father, I write all my poems to keep you alive. ~~ Deborah Keenan


Our whole lives are lived in a tangle of telling, not telling, misleading, allowing to know, concealing, eavesdropping, and collusion. When Washington said he could not tell a lie, his father must have answered, "You had better learn." ~~ Germaine Greer


Fathers and sons are much more considerate of one another than mothers and daughters. ~~ Friedrich Nietzsche


"Do you like being a parent -- you know, being a father, having children and all?" Linnet once asked me. "Yes," I said, after a moment. "It's like dancing with a partner. It takes a lot of effort to do it well. But when it's done well it's a beautiful thing to see. ~~ Gerald Early


In my dreams

my father is always kind. ~~ Paula Gunn Allen


I know that moment when you go in to apologize to your kid and you end up hectoring him. I've known that as a father and I've known that as a son. I found myself having a real strong reaction to that. ~~ Harrison Ford


My daddy is a movie actor, and sometimes he plays the good guy, and sometimes he plays the lawyer. ~~ Malcolm Ford


[On his father:] He had the precious gift of being deaf when convenient. Many people took this for absent-mindedness, but it was rather his faculty for concentrating on what suited him… in order to grasp reality better he limited his perceptions to a few definite things. ~~ Jean Renoir


Oh my gloomy father,

why were you always so silent then. ~~ Ingeborg Bachman


Whatever meaning "Annie's Song" had for me on a personal level, there was also a larger context … It could just as easily have been about love for a brother. Or a father. Or a friend. It could just as easily have been a prayer. ~~ John Denver


Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than what we suspect of what we think. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


A good father is a little bit of a mother. ~~ Lee Salk


All the feeling which my father could not put into words was in his hand -- any dog, child, or horse would recognize the kindness of it. ~~ Freya Stark


My father is dead and I cannot turn him into a white rose, though I try. ~~ Deborah Keenan


My dad was always there for me and my brother, and I want my kids to have the same kind of dad -- a dad they will remember. Being a dad is the most important thing in my life. ~~ Kevin Costner


Dad gave me two pieces of advice. One was, "No matter how good you think you are, there are people better than you." But he was an optimist too; his other advice: "Never worry about rejection. Every day is a new beginning." ~~ John Ritter


"Are you lost, daddy?" I asked tenderly. "Shut up," he explained. ~~ Ring Lardner


My father, dead so long now, looms up as unexplored landscape, the mountains of the moon, a text that has lain in a drawer, undeciphered, for which I have had no Rosetta Stone. ~~ Shirley Abbott [The Bookmaker's Daughter]


My best training came from my father. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


A girl's father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential. Absent or involved, loving or rejecting, what he is, or was, leaves a lasting imprint. ~~ David Jeremiah [Exposing the Myths of Parenthood]


If we are going to make a difference as fathers, we need to do it now. The decision is practical. It has to do with bedtimes, Saturday football games, stories, and hamburgers; and it has to do with carving those times out of busy lives -- today. ~~ Rob Parsons [The Sixty Minute Father]


My father walked with me, and still does walk,

Yet now, he reckons neither time nor space. ~~ Mary Salinda Foster


Liberty and indulgence can do no good to children… and on the contrary, imperiousness and severity is but an ill way of treating men… unless you have a mind to make your children, when grown up, weary of you, and secretly to say within themselves, When will you die, father? ~~ John Locke [Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1692)]


But Dad said...

Give your wife a break! Don't fall into the trap of letting your child play one parent against the other -- decide the rules between the two of you and stick to them. ~~ Unattributed


I'm convinced there is an incredible advantage for kids who are raised in a home where they can be totally confident that Mom and Dad love each other. ~~ Jay Kesler


You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's. He's more particular. ~~ Robert Frost


Like all children I had taken my father for granted. Now that I had lost him, I felt an emptiness that could never be filled. But I did not let myself cry, believing as a Muslim, that tears pull a spirit earthward and won't let it free. ~~ Benazir Bhutto [Daughter of Destiny]


When I think of my father, the memories that bubble to the surface are not policy or politics. They are the man who opened a child's imagination, who taught her to be a good horsewoman and to always get back on when I fell off. ~~ Patti Davis


Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life. ~~ Saul Alinsky


I stopped loving my father a long time ago. What remained was the slavery to a pattern. ~~ Anais Nin


My father was a romancer and most of my memories of him are colored I fear by an untruthfulness that I must have caught from him like one of the colds that ran around my family. ~~ Mary McCarthy


The mature, forty-five-year-old woman, quite experienced in matters of life and death, knows that it was "for the best," but Daddy's girl, who hung onto his belt and danced fox trots on the tops of his shoes, cannot accept that Daddy is not here anymore. ~~ Mary Lou Weisman


My father was very strong. I don't agree with a lot of the ways he brought me up. I don't agree with a lot of his values, but he did have a lot of integrity, and if he told us not to do something, he didn't do it either. ~~ Madonna


O our Mother the Earth, O our Father the Sky,

Your children are we, and with tired backs

We bring you gifts. ~~ Anonymous North American Indian [Song of the Sky Loom]


Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers. ~~ Lewis Mumford


Into the father's grave the daughter, sometimes a gray-haired woman, lays away forever the little pet names and memories which to all the rest of the world are but foolishness. ~~ Constance Fenimore Woolson [Anne]


My heart is happy, my mind is free

I had a father who talked with me. ~~ Hilda Bigelow


[On golf:] I remember being upset once and telling my dad I wasn't following through right, and he replied, Nancy, it doesn't make any difference to a ball what you do after you hit it. ~~ Nancy Lopez


Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. ~~ Tom Wolfe


Down in the bottom of my childhood my father stands laughing. ~~ Tove Ditlevsen


The American father… passes his life entirely on Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher. ~~ Oscar Wilde


This is my library, and this the chair

My father used to sit in carelessly

After his soldier fashion, while I stood

Between his knees to question him. ~~ Robert Browning [A Blot in the 'Scutcheon (1843)]


It is a wonderful heritage to have an honest father. ~~ The Bible


It was my father's hand that opened wide

The door to poetry, where printed line

Became alive. ~~ Helen Bean Byerly


A small boy shouted downstairs, "I'm scared of the dark." His father yelled back, "Don't be scared. God is with you." There was silence for a moment; and then the boy said, "Get up her fast -- I need somebody with skin on!" ~~ Unattributed


If a parent pictures for a child that his or her value in life is low, that child will find it difficult to rise above these words. In one insightful study of fathers and their daughters, it was found that these women's achievements in life were directly related to the level of their father's acceptance of them. ~~ William S. Appleton


They were always reading the law to her at home, which might not have been so bad if her father and mother had read from the same book. ~~ Jessamyn West


My dear father! When I remember him, it is always with his arms open wide to love and comfort me. ~~ Isobel Field [This Live I've Lived]


A man's fatherliness is enriched as much by his acceptance of his feminine and childlike strivings as it is by his memories of tender closeness with his own father. A man who has been able to accept tenderness from his father is able later in life to be tender with his own children. ~~ Louise J. Kaplan


My father said, "Politics asks the question: Is it expedient? Vanity asks: Is it popular? But conscience asks: Is it right? ~~ Dexter Scott King


It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. ~~ Anne Sexton


If it were natural for fathers to care for their sons, they would not need so many laws commanding them to do so. ~~ Phyllis Chesler


It isn't that I'm a weak father, it's just that she's a strong daughter. ~~ Henry Fonda


The similarities between me and my father are different. ~~ Dale Berra


My father used to say: Son, if you are not bright, you've got to be methodical. ~~ Robert Sachs


When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, "Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?" He answered, "If the zoo wants you let them come and get you." ~~ Jerry Lewis


Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope. ~~ John Ciardi


Old soldiers, she knew, never died; in her father's case she felt it was not so much that he was fading away as he had never been there in the first place. ~~ Beryl Bainbridge


For thousands of years, fathers and sons have stretched wistful hands across the canyon of time. ~~ Alan Valentine


My father was often angry when I was most like him. ~~ Lillian Hellman


What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found the son the unveiled secret of the father. ~~ Friedrich Nietzsche


My daddy knew a lot of guitar players and most of them didn't work, so he said, "You should make your mind up to either be a guitar player or an electrician, but I never saw a guitar player that was worth a damn." ~~ Elvis Presley


It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and … old dead beliefs and things of that kind … and we can never be rid of them. ~~ Henrik Ibsen


Mothers are a biological necessity; fathers are a social invention. ~~ Margaret Mead


If the past cannot teach the present and the father cannot teach the son, then history need not have bothered to go on, and the world has wasted a great deal of time. ~~ Russell Hoban


When someone who knew my father says I'm like him, I feel flattered. He was a shy, undemonstrative man, but good natured with a great, whimsical sense of humor. ~~ Paul Newman


One night at about two o'clock in the morning my father caught a man stealing bananas from our backyard. He went over to the man with his machete, took the bananas, cut the bunch in half and said, "Here, you can have it." And then he said, "From now on, if you need anything from the back of our house, come to the front." ~~ Chi Chi Rodriguez


No man is responsible for his father. That was entirely his mother's affair. ~~ Margaret Turnbull


I used to feel that all I ever did was take from my father: "Dad, my heater's not working." "Dad, I need help building the shed." "Dad, can you lend me money for a car?" Now he has a computer. Things are evening up quickly. ~~ Den Schlaf


Today, while the titular head of the family may still be the father, everyone knows that he is little more than chairman, at most, of the entertainment committee. ~~ Ashley Montagu


Father expected a good deal of God. He didn't actually accuse God of inefficiency, but when he prayed his tone was loud and angry, like that of a dissatisfied guest in a carelessly managed hotel. ~~ Clarence Day


The sins of the father are often visited upon the sons-in-law. ~~ Joan Kiser


Many fathers waste hours of precious time in the vain attempt to convince their daughters they shouldn't care what the boys think. They say things like, "You've got plenty of time for boys later." Come on. Get real, Dad. ~~ Nicky Marone


When a father gives his daughter an emotional visa to strike out on her own, he is always with her. Such a daughter has her encouraging, understanding daddy in her head, cheering her on -- not simply as a woman but as a whole, unique human being with unlimited possibilities. ~~ Victoria Secunda


Dad, you couldn't have done it better. You're actually pretty amazing especially because I'm fully aware of the demanding brat I was. ~~ John Travolta


For a boy to reach adulthood feeling that he knows his father, his father must allow his emotions to be visible -- hardly an easy task when most males grow up being either subtly or openly taught that this is not acceptable behavior. A father must teach his son that masculinity and feelings go hand in hand. ~~ Kyle Pruett


I once complained to my father that I didn't seem to be able to do things the same way other people did. Dad's advice? "Margo, don't be a sheep. People hate sheep. They eat sheep. ~~ Margo Kaufman


Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers. ~~ Aldous Huxley


The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. ~~ Unattributed


My father… lived as if he were poured from iron, and loved his family with a vulnerability that was touching. ~~ Mari E. Evans


My father? My father left when I was quite young. Well, actually, he was asked to leave. He had trouble metabolizing alcohol. ~~ George Carlin


Three-year-old Gabriel was intently playing when his father began to talk to him. "Shhh, shhh, Daddy," Gabriel said sternly. "I'm playing and I have to listen to my imagination." ~~ Karilee Halo-Shames, RN, Ph.D.


The fastest way to get my dad's attention was to do something wrong. ~~ Unattributed


Many a man has discovered a relationship with his father years after leaving home. But even at this stage of life, the same two ingredients are needed as when our children were small: time, and the courage to seize the day. ~~ Rob Parsons [The Sixty Minute Father]


The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf. ~~ Bertrand Russell


And inevitably, the particular "Mother" and "Father" roles we witness in childhood families -- say a domineering mother and a passive father, or a frustrated mother and an insensitive father -- will influence the roles we adopt in our own marriages. ~~ Dagmar O'Connor


I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in fifty years what my father taught me by example in one week. ~~ Mario Cuomo


Many a man is proud of his father and mother because they are the parents of such a wonderful person. ~~ Unattributed


I was the same kind of father as I was a harpist -- I played by ear. ~~ Harpo Marx


Then Daddy said, "Claude's the type if he ever gets into a 12-step program first thing he'll do is look around for the nearest elevator." ~~ Lily Tomlin (Edith Ann)


The worst misfortune that can happen to an ordinary man is to have an extraordinary father. ~~ Austin O'Malley