Today isn’t Father’s Day, but I wanted to share my thoughts on this day in relation to my feelings about dads in general. Why? Because I was reminded yesterday that it really bothers me when people dismiss dads. Here is an article I wrote a year or so ago:
This is a day that is far too overlooked. Sure, there are some commercials here and there, but not nearly as many as there are for Mother’s Day. That’s right, we are talking about Father’s Day. I submit that this is a holiday that, if observed well, can save families.
First off, I have to make clear that I am not deriding Mother’s Day in any way. It is fitting that we celebrate mothers before fathers. They traditionally do the lion’s share of the nurturing and spending of time. Furthermore, obviously the pain and discomfort of pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the unconditional love offered freely to their children, entitle women to our greatest respect and admiration. Indeed, there are those who say that in bearing children a woman is closer to the Divine than at any other time. But a discussion of Mother’s Day is for a different article.
My thesis is that Father’s Day is somewhat overlooked, somewhat lacking in luster and profile. The stereotype of the standard tie for a Father’s Day is outdated and does no good for families. Indeed, the tie is more a symbol of where Dad’s priorities are stereotypically focused: on work. This must change.
Many people in our modern society find themselves bemoaning the huge numbers of absent fathers and the dads that spend more time at work than at home. They point to these men’s emotional investment being in their jobs and workplaces rather than at home. Unfortunately, just as a red umbrella stands out in a sea of gray, these examples get the attention. But the truth and the reality is that there are many fathers out there who are emotionally devoted to family and see work for what it is: a source of satisfaction and income.
I propose that we truly celebrate Father’s Day. I propose that we stop wallowing in the problems that exist and start examining solutions. These solutions can be found in the successful families in which a father and mother are working together, in harmony, to maintain a healthy and loving family culture. Does it not make sense that we should look at what is working, what is functional, in order to fix those families that are broken? One way to examine and highlight the functional and devoted families of mother, father and children is to celebrate these fathers who do their duty with love and happiness in their hearts.
Surely it makes good sense that if we showed the world, especially the young men of today’s society, families that included a loving, happy father, they would see it could be done? Surely they would understand that such a thing is not necessarily beyond them if they saw multitudinous examples. But instead, our society dwells on the problems and harangues the world for said problem. Thus, young men grow up thinking the problem is huge, unstoppable, and it won’t be a big thing if they become absent, emotionally or physically, fathers.
And thus we can see that the old adage truly applies to this issue of Father’s Day and improving fathers today. “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” This is what this article proposes. Our media should be searching out and publicizing fathers who quietly devote themselves to becoming a better father: fathers who understand that they too approach the Divine as they lead their family in happiness and moral-centeredness. Our think tanks and government agencies should be seeking out the true experts, successful families, and finding out and publicizing their secrets.
So whether it be in your home, your family’s home, or even in the office, celebrate Father’s Day. Talk it up. Tell good stories of your family: your mother and father. Believe that there are millions of good fathers out there and that the knowledge of them can spur other men to take good action. And finally, be a good father. Be good to your wife and children. The moments of joy and satisfaction inside a family that is united in trajectory and love are like no other feelings we can experience. So on the third Sunday of June, Happy Father’s Day.