In a world that is seemingly torn between adhering to the known facts and confused opinions, those who have been bestowed the privilege of being called father are increasingly an endangered species.
Fathers are men on whom the demand of shaping the future is an ever present assignment – whether in the work place or at home; whether they bring the bacon home or not; whether they are visible or not, whether they work in a fortified building or in a trench. They will still answer to the call of dad, father, abba or any cultural variation.
So, if this special breed is to remain responsive and held accountable for each subsequent generation, what must they receive from the society around them?
How about respect?
My mother always says, it doesn’t matter who or what your father is in the eyes of the world – he remains your father. Even if he walks around the streets as a mad person. He still deserves the respect of a father.
How about genuine appreciation, especially in the confines of the man cave?
Men are bashed everyday they step out of their homes to fend for the families they have and it is only right for them to get a little appreciation in their safe space called home. He lines up to get his cup of tea or coffee, surely he can be served a plate of food when he comes home? He spends the day in a competitive environment, he will appreciate the small victories in his domain.
How about a safe space to simply be an unlabeled man?
Outside his home, the father is many things to many people – the overweight one, the sweaty and bald, the ultimate catch, God’s gift to women, the slave driver, the messenger, the preacher, the …. Fill in the blank. When he comes home, the only thing he wants is to be himself – simply a man.
How about cutting him some slack?
So he forgot to call during the day; or he did not remember the young one’s show size. Cut him some slack. He is a present father and amid everything that is going on, he is bound to forget a lot. He remembers that he is a father, and that is more than enough because almost everything he does is from that platform of fatherhood.
How about stepping into his shoes just for one minute?
Many times when he is speaking, there is a dismissive or cancelling response lurking in the background of his audience. Truthfully, anyone understanding the mental, physical, emotional etc that fathers go through will see why it is always important to check what one says to a father. A simple and meaningless jest like, “You must be feeling deprived of your single status”, is enough to cause the dam to break.
Next time you see a father, ask him to slightly open the door to his world – you begin to understand why Father’s Day ought to be a daily celebration and not an annual observation.