THE BLOG

My Dad Taught Me That You Don't Need A College Degree To Be Smart And Successful

12/06/2017 11:35 BST | Updated 12/06/2017 11:35 BST

At what things is your father better than you? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Alix Weich Dahlen:

My father is often thought to be, to put it nicely, uneducated. He doesn't have good grammar. He didn't go to college, instead getting into his career by starting an apprenticeship at age 17.

People who judge others based on these standards always think I'm being insincere when I say he's way smarter than I am, but he definitely is.

My dad can do complex math in his head in seconds. I can do 5th grade math with a pencil and paper.

My dad can draw and read blueprints. I am aware that they are often blue.

My dad can build a house. By himself. Plumbing, wiring, sheetrocking walls, framing, putting flooring down. All of it. And that isn't even related to his job at all. He just picked that up by helping people.

My dad is also way better at helping people. I mean, I try, but my dad will drive two hours to someone else's house if they need help with a project. He will never let an elderly person do anything themselves that might be too hard or dangerous.

My dad once met a disabled man on the sidewalk, drove him to run his errands, and the next day he bought the man a power wheelchair.

No matter how hard of times we've had financially, he's always donated money to charities and things. One Thanksgiving, he gave our turkey to a struggling family because, as he put it, "We have a full meal without a turkey, and all they have is the turkey we gave them."

My dad just got back from an all day drive to a different state because a man he considered like a father passed away, and instead of taking the day off to mourn which would have been understandable, he went to make sure the man's wife was okay.

My dad is way better than I am at being kind and helpful and caring.

When I was a kid, my dad used to let me help him build computers. Most of these computers were to help other people who wanted to be able to email their family, or look for jobs online. He's still better at building computers than me.

He is way better than I am at solving problems. Someone tells my dad what kind of sticky situation they are in, and my dad listens, then he offers them a plan to solve the problem. Always an excellent plan, too.