Fathers Day: Lessons from My Father…. 

Courtesy: happyfathersday-2014.com

Courtesy: happyfathersday-2014.com

I will not be-labour the fact that mothers and womanity has stolen the thunder when it comes to the celebration of such days. Certainly, Mothers Day is a more colourful affair and Fathers Day pales in comparison. I guess this is understandable in our world today. However the significance of Fathers and Fatherhood could never be overstated. Men, generally largely determine what is right and wrong in our world today, and will continue to do so into the future given the Godly mandate that they carry as leaders, visionaries and architects of our society. Certainly, crime, violence and social dysfunction can be mapped back to the role of fathers in society. In Essence, when men are for real – they play a very vital role in the positive shaping of society. The converse is equally true.

As we celebrate fathers in such occasions as we should the other members of the family unit, I take this moment to reflect on the significance and value that fathers have added to me over the years – more so my dad (God bless his memory) growing up as a young boy and into a young man.

Courtesy: comments.funmunch.com

Courtesy: comments.funmunch.com

Sense of Self
Beyond my sense of identity, I owe it to my Dad for speaking into me and believing in me. As he made me understand in later years, before I was born, he already declared that I was going to be a child that he would be proud of – a wise son – as I made my entry into the world.
Growing up, even though we never spoke much, I will always remember the few words he spoke to me.
“Son, I Know you will succeed”, he once told me.
And when I completed my college education, he wrote me a note and said, “son, I never doubted that you could do it”.
Today as I reflect, my sense of calm confidence and ability to easily trust and believe in others I owe it largely to my Father. Of course, I acknowledge the roles both my parents played in my upbringing and others who have believed in me along the way.

Sense of Pride
Fathers have a sense of pride. In most cultures we carry our fathers names or that of their lineage. This sense of identity is important in a child’s life. At least in African culture this remains an important element. Through stories and illustrations my father ingrained this sense of self and pride in our roots. Yes, we may not have ‘chatted’ or debated as most modern day parents do, but this is one of the things that I take from him and celebrate.

As he memorably told me in my later years “Associate, but don’t be assimilated“. I uphold this value and sense of identity to date.

Sense of Responsibility and Personal Independence
Fathers have a role to prepare us for the world. Whereas motherhood has the role to nurture, and teach some of the values, Fathers have the role to prepare us to engage with the toughness that the world and life can be. Again, this is a shared responsibility, but fathers have a critical role to prepare sons to learn the trades of life, to model for their daughters real love and the essence of good manhood among other duties they have within the family unit.

My Dad allowed the deep dive into responsibility for me at an early age as a firstborn in his lineage. He didn’t ‘mother’ or try to save me necessarily, but allowed me to figure things out… offered me space to fail safely and allowed me to find my feet again. In later years, in our few conversations, he was emphatic about the need to ‘think for your own self, and never let others do the thinking for you.’

In fact he would dare those who wanted to take him for a ride on this… and rhetorically ask…
“So do you want me to switch off my brain so we can use yours?”

Courtesy: kmpunksays.wordpress.com

Courtesy: kmpunksays.wordpress.com

I have never let others be the shapers of my decisions nor my future. I owe this sense of assertiveness to my father.Along the years, I have learnt many other things from other father-figures who have influenced me, in so many ways. Spiritually, in Leadership, in Career, Family among other areas. I’m eternally grateful for this lessons that have been invaluable in my life.I certainly could say more about what I have learnt from my Father and other Father figures over the years, I will probably chronicle this in a book in future. This post is however meant to celebrate and acknowledge the role of fathers and fatherhood to our world.

Happy Fathers Day to All Fathers of the World!

:::>Listen to today’s recording of the #MiddleofNowhereShow – todays edition was dedicated to #FathersDay


In Celebration of All Father Figures in my Life; in Memory of my Father who passed on 10 years ago this year.

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