What I Learned From My Father
In honor of Father’s Day, Coachella Unincorporated staff took a moment to reflect on the significance of fatherhood and the lessons we have each learned from our respective fathers.
From my father, I learned the importance of hard work and education. My dad always emphasized that education would be the way to become financially successful in the United States. He also emphasized that education would not just bring financial success, but also help us grow as individuals and become independent. He taught me to dream without limits and with ambition. Those were things my father always made sure he emphasized regularly. He taught all of us the true meaning of hard work and importance of family by the way he walked and talked. My nocturnal papa slept all day and drove all night to bring food to the table. By the grunts he made when he took a seat, he showed us how hard he worked for my family. With his affectionate and sincere words, he always played with our hair with his calloused, hard working hands and told us, “Papa loves you very much.”
Alejandra Alarcon, Student Reporter
Even though as a child I didn’t see him much, my dad has taught me a lot over these past years. Despite not always being there, he encouraged me to do what I thought was right. He’s helped me make a lot of important decisions and I’m thankful for that. He encouraged me and was there for me, even if he wasn’t at my school events or if he got home late because of work, he was there. There’s so many things I’ve learned from my dad and I’m happy he’s taught me and just been there. In future years, I want to learn more from my dad to have a good life and just to know he taught me something I won’t forget.
Maria Garcia, Student Reporter
My old man has always been a hard worker, even after coming home from working for hours on end under the sun. He’s the type of guy with oil and grease on his hands and shirt, and will cut the grass at a moments notice because he feels like it. He is always looking for something to do, maybe he’s just not used to relaxing like the rest of us in the family. Although constantly getting under my skin by putting me to work, he instilled hard work, dedication, and determination into my work ethic, which I constantly try to use in my everyday life. Something I am truly grateful for.
Ivan Delgado, Beat Reporter
Johnny Flores, Sr.
Out of the many lessons and ideals my dad has taught me throughout my life, the one lesson that is the most important is the value of integrity. My dad values integrity more than anything in a person. He’s always told me that in order to be successful you must always remain honest. For the minute you lie, all your integrity is gone and you can never be seen in the same light as you once were. “Always do the right thing, even it it’s the hardest thing to do,” he tells me. “In the end, what truly matters is the value of your character and that character should always be honest, genuine, and sincere.”
I hold this ideal very highly as it has helped me throughout my life and will continue to aid me as I move on into my junior year and as I continue to grow. Thank you dad for everything that you have done for me. I love you very much and I hope this day is as awesome as you are.
Johnny Flores, Jr., Student Reporter
My dad says, “You have to work hard for what you want. No one will take care of you, and the person who does will be a bigger fool than you.”
My father has taught me many lessons about life, for at the age of thirty he has become a wise man. I have learned from my father that in this life you have one shot and one shot only. Education is the only way to give yourself the life you want to live. I have seen the struggle of a hard-working man, and I’m taking the experience as an example of how tough life is. You have to be independent and ambitious. “The mind is a powerful thing,” my father always says. I couldn’t agree anymore. Anything that motivates you will absolutely keep you going. To know that by tomorrow, everything will be all right because you’ve become self-sufficient is a great accomplishment. Becoming dependent on other people is embarrassing and shows the lack of goals. Most importantly, I have learned no living soul will offer you the moon and stars without asking for anything in return. I warmheartedly thank my father, who never gave up on me and has been by my side since becoming a father at age 15 to now.
Karla Martinez, Student Reporter
One of the most important things that I have learned from my father is to live the life I have planned for myself. Over time he had to sacrifice a lot for his family, just like many parents tend to do. Therefore, when he spoke about appreciating everything in life and enjoying it, I wholeheartedly believed him. With said advice, I have learned to take on challenges and try new things. But the most important thing that I have learned from him is to never overlook the people close to you. When he passed away two years ago, I came to the realization that life, in fact, is short and can become muddled with tightly packed schedules and busy lifestyles to truly appreciate loved ones. It was tough to lose him, and I still miss him. But I’m glad that I had him in my life for he taught me some of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. I now know to always be grateful for the people around me and for the time I have with them.
Fatima Ramirez, Student Reporter
As the only daughter in a family of boys, I always had a special bond with my dad – but not in the way you might think. Instead of coddling and spoiling me, my dad instilled independence, hard work, and social responsibility in me. He supported my pursuit of education, even though he was not blessed with that opportunity himself. Nothing upsets my dad more than complacency and injustice. He is a man of action, not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. (He has been to too many rallies, demonstrations, and protests to list.)
As a teenager, we would discuss politics and current events. He would challenge me, inspiring me to give intelligent responses. He was my biggest fan when I began writing for The Desert Sun at age 17. To this day he is a big supporter of my work in journalism – even though he isn’t quite sure what it is that I exactly do! At the end of the day, my goal is to make my dad half as proud of me as I am of him.
Brenda Rincon, Coordinator/Editor
My father is where I was first was introduced to the concept of service and advocacy of justice. I had almost forgotten how proud I was of the work my father did growing up. Stories from work introduced me to the existence of injustices and disparity. I practically grew up at the California Rural Legal Assistance on Sixth Street, and I had my 10th birthday party at the office of Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment. I don’t remember any other 6-year old child losing sleep over pesticide poisoning; and I’m sort of glad that I was that kid. I haven’t taken the time to thank my father for the impact his work has had on shaping my perceptions and sense of advocacy. As a young adult going out into the community for myself, I’ve realized that all that time my father was working to bring social justice into the community as well.
Aurora Saldivar, Student Reporter