Men of Conscience and Kindness
Sunday is a day to honor our fathers. The role that our fathers play is crucial to our sense of self and place in the world. The role of father in the past was as head of household, breadwinner and too often emotionally distant and unreachable.
Fathers today are rapidly changing that image. I love to see young fathers as they walk down the street in easy conversation with their children or with their infant strapped to their chest and their capable arms holding them close.
Dads, if your children could send you a heartfelt thank you for the inheritance you are building within them today, I imagine their message from the future would be something like this:
Dad, thank you for liking me. You let me know that I was special to you. When you looked into my eyes and listened to me it made me feel that you thought I was worthwhile and interesting. You gave me the gift of special time with you.
Thank you for liking mom. I watched you show her that you loved her by treating her with respect. It seemed that you loved your life together, because you showed how much you liked her. You let her know and you also let me know, that you felt fortunate to have a partnership with her. You treated her kindly and special and you seemed happy that she knew you so well. You gave me the gift of seeing commitment and involvement in action.
Thank you for having work that you cared about and that was important to you. I knew that you brought something special to everything you did. Your work never defined you. You, instead, defined your work, so that you could come home and turn your attention to me, to mom, and to our family. You gave me the gift of knowing that to be well rounded is the most important contribution I can make to my success in the world.
Thank you for having hopes and dreams for my happiness. You did not decide on my path, and push me onto it. You let me find my own, and you let me know you were behind me all the way. You helped me find my own footing if I stumbled, and then stepped out of my way once I was standing. You gave me the gift of self-determination, because I knew you supported and loved me unconditionally.
Dad, thank you for telling me the truth. When you smiled at me, your eyes were full of meanings that I felt inside. When you were angry, I felt your hurt or disappointment, but never hate. I knew that you could be irritated and upset with me, but that even in times of anger, it was to let me see your emotions so that you could let me see you as real. You taught me to be connected to my feelings, as well as my thoughts.
This message from the future may sound idealized but the truth of the matter remains. Our father was our first love for girls and our first role model for boys. Children are fully able to receive, retain and sustain soul-nourishment from all acts of kindness, attention and love.
My wish on this special day can be summed up this way. May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. Happy Fathers Day 2020!
Susan is a local author and Leadership development facilitator. Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com.