I have always believed that everyday should be Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.
I do not want to detract from the significance of what today means to so many people. I absolutely do not judge or criticize anyone who makes this day memorable for the special men in their lives. I simply think that all the pictures and posts and comments and praise pale in comparison to the criticism and the men bashing so common in our society. Folks give so much attention to the fathers and men who are “not doing the right thing”, they lose sight of the fact that there are men out there (Some of them in the lives of those doing the bashing) that reflect what it means to be “Dad” and “Uncle” and “Brother” and “Granddad”.
My mother met and married Aaron Lee Wallace when I was three-years old. There was never a single day–NOT ONE DAY– did he ever make me feel anything less than his flesh and blood. I have never uttered the words step-father in my life. In fact most people found out he was not biological father only after reading Life Is Not Complicated, You Are. My Daddy loved all his children immeasurably. We never knew what it was like to feel unloved, unsafe, unstable, or undernourished. He worked hard his entire life and loved my Momma to her last breath, and eventually to his. He was my hero, my best friend, my mentor and a man who will always be larger than life in my eyes. So when I hear “there are no good men” left, it offends me. Because good men helped make me the person I am today. And some dam good man taught me how to carry on that Legacy with my children. I thank God for my Daddy, Granddaddy and my Uncle Rube Earl who have all gone on to Glory, and the three father figures I turn to today for guidance and support who remind me I am never alone (in my struggle and in my success).
Are there sorry brothers out there? Well sure. And you know what, you can go on for hours, months and years using up valuable energy and time telling anyone who will listen how horrible this person is, and it won’t change a thing. As a matter of fact, it does more damage to the heart of the person doing the complaining and to the children than it does to the so-called dead beat Dad. Meantime, I can name off the top of my head at LEAST ten men who I know personally that are either great single fathers or (like my Daddy) are caring unconditionally for children that are not their biological sons and/or daughters; who are holding down two jobs to keep their household in order or who have one very good job and makes sure their family reaps the benefit accordingly. Men of different races and religions and from different economic backgrounds.
This attitude is indicative of a more widespread mentality I want so much to permanently expel from our thinking. We focus way too much on what’s wrong and not enough on what is right. We are consumed by what we do not have and do not give thanks for what we do have. We pray for more and are not grateful for enough. Negativity is such a pervasive way of thinking that even when things are good, we have to be reminded to appreciate it! What if there was nothing like a “Father’s Day”? Would we then never take the time to acknowledge the contributions of men in our lives and community?
Think about that when all the gifts are exchanged, and the dinners are over and the clock breaks midnight, ending Father’s Day 2014. I myself, will continue to honor the deserving men I am blessed to know every day. I pray you consider doing the same.