“Any man can be a father. But it takes someone special to be a Dad”—Anne Geddes
We need successful fathers today more than we have ever needed them.
This week I had the privilege of attending a gala dinner to honor four men who had been selected as the Father of the Year by a large non-profit organization. One of them was the father of an Olympian, another a professional athlete, another a man who had built a great construction company while raising 3 outstanding children, and another was a young man who clearly had balanced his life priorities to spend quality time with his four young children. Each of these fathers was complimented by a wife and mother to whom they paid special tribute.
One of the children of each man was selected to give a short tribute to their fathers. The Olympian didn’t talk about her father as someone who drove her, both literally and authoritatively, to become a world record holder at age 17. Instead she talked about her father as “my best friend” and described the affection and emotional support she received from him. She told of how she had learned to set goals and sacrifice because of the model her father was.
Watching videos describing how each man had exemplified the traits each of us would ascribe to a successful father, and then hearing the real-time emotion in the voices of the children and fathers, was most inspiring. It left me to reflect on whether we need more Fathers of the Year or more Fathers for Today.
Today is Father’s Day. And, each moment of each day presents each father with the gift of time...the gift of myriad opportunities to be a positive and sustaining influence in the life of his child or children.
Not all men have the privilege of being fathers. And, not all fathers exercise the privilege of fatherhood. But as David Blankenhorn, in his book entitled Fatherless America warns, “Fatherlessness” is “the most harmful demographic trend of this generation” and the leading cause of damage to children….It is the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence…”
May all fathers on this Father’s Day reflect on how they can be the most effective Father forToday. And may those men who have not had the privilege of having children, reflect on how you might extend a positive fatherly influence into the lives of those children who are cursed with “Fatherlessness”.
"Not every successful man is a Dad. But every great Dad is a successful man"—John A. Warnick