Fathers are an invaluable source of strength, comfort and stability in a child’s life
“Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joy and rewards than being a father to my children” – Bill Cosby. Jim Valano said: “My father gave me the greatest gift any one could give another person, he believed in me.”
I wish to take time out to wish every father a happy Father’s Day. There is no doubt that Mother’s Day has always been more highly publicized, commercialized and widely talked about that Father’s Day. This situation, it is believed, is due largely to the fact that research has shown that in most societies mothers have come to take on both roles as many fathers are absent.
However, there are those fathers who continue to remain steadfast in their duty and live up to the expectations of their children. Many of these fathers sometimes also straddle the roles of both parents.
To these fathers I say you are an invaluable source of strength, comfort and stability to your child’s life, and by extension the society.
There are also those fathers who might not be the biological father, but yet they step up and accept responsibility for a child, whose genes they have no connection to; these men must be commended for recognizing that their presence brings unfathomable strength to a child. Jim Valano had this to say on fathers: “Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys.”
As we celebrate Father’s Day 2012 let us be reminded that being a father is not merely the duty of the male parent to buy the child clothes or shoes, or to provide money, but rather to commit to be in the life of your child, who silently seeks interaction, moral, emotional and spiritual support, and is constantly looking for someone to believe in him/her. A father’s involvement brings comfort, confidence, strength, balance and stability, and the time spent with a child cannot be calculated in monetary terms.
In 2009 President Obama, while he celebrated Father’s Day with a group of young men at the White House took the time to reflect on how he felt as a child whose father was out of his life since he was just two years old. He reflected on how his mother and grandparents became strong towers in his life, and reminisced on how they demonstrated true love and support towards him and his sister.
Then he went on to say this: “But despite all their extraordinary love and attention, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel my father’s absence.
“That’s something that leaves a hole in a child’s heart that a government can’t fill.” Recognizing the plight of children in America where researchers estimate that approximately 24 million children are growing up with absent fathers, the Obama administration has launched a number of programmes to help those children, while programmes have also been launched to help struggling fathers assume their responsibility.
At the White House gathering Obama challenged those young men to rise above their own situation and learn from the mistakes of their own fathers; he urged them to take responsibility and break the cycle of an absentee father, reminding them that they have an obligation to do better.
I once again salute every father and every man who has stepped up to be the father to a child. A happy Father’s Day to you, and your relationship with your child will undoubtedly yield positive results not only for you but for the wider Guyanese society.
The role of fathers is becoming increasingly important given all the distractions in society.
Our boys often look to you first as the one who must believe in them to give them confidence to face life’s challenges. Know always, that regardless of what you are going through your child depends on you!