Today is the day people around the world celebrate fatherhood. It’s interesting how different the day is from mother’s day. When we celebrate moms, its all flowers and pretty things – affectionate thoughts and cosy lunches. But with dad’s it’s a little less warm and fuzzy – somehow it’s about a loss of identity. A loss of a relationship.

That’s a pretty sweeping statement, but I know so many more people who had a ‘missing’ father than people whose mom was unavailable. I know so many more people who’ve been hurt or damaged by their father than by their mom.

And it’s not about abuse in the conventional sense of the word. It’s about absenteeism – in mind, body or spirit.

The equality between men and women, with its age old battle and unbalanced search for fairness has upset the way the world was supposed to be. Read on before you begin to rage against that un-feminist-sounding statement, though.

If there was to be complete equality between men and women, we’d all be androgynous – what would be the point? How boring to live in a world that’s filled with more of the same. Women are extraordinary creatures with a capacity that’s so far-reaching and so deep that most people can’t even begin to understand the intricate layers. And men, well, they may seem to be simple creatures but much of what is on the surface has deep roots to thoughts and feelings.

History has skewed what both sexes are supposed to do (supposed is a prescriptive-sounding word, but what I mean is more of an innate ability, a soul-calling to be all you can be). Men’s  protective role turned into a paternalistic power-mongering role – with women suppressed and not even allowed opinions (no vote, etc). It’s not supposed to be like that – the very differences we face between the sexes are the balance that’s needed to make a whole and balanced persona. One without the other doesn’t really work too well – it’s the wolf you feed inside scenario. Each difference highlights the ability and uniqueness in the other person.

I’m going off track, though. With women fighting for equal rights over the years, men have landed in a somewhat ‘iffy’ place. They’re told to protect and lead, but with serious conditions and tomes small print. They’ve been given a confusing message. No longer is gallantry a good thing, its deemed sexist. Open a door for a woman and she snarls at you for thinking her weaker or less than. Men aren’t supposed to cry, but now if they do, they’re considered more manly – the list goes one, from not working too hard and yet spending every moment with their loved ones to being stoic in the face of crisis and yet exposing all their innermost feelings.

And men as fathers? A father should be fully present in his role. He should be there in body, mind and soul to love, protect and mentor his children. His primary role is to be a centre, to be the root. He is where we get our identity from. He should be a solid base from which we can launch ourselves. His attitudes towards the world and us are what shape our own. His behaviour tells us what we can and can’t do in the world. He lets us know who we are.

You are somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter. Who he is, determines your own identity – whether you decide to move completely away from who he is or to emulate who he is, it’s still him that’s at the root.

I’ve recently read a book that puts this vital role into succinct perspective. It gives you a wonderful insight into how important fatherhood is. It also offers impactful lessons on how to become the father you never had, and how to overcome being ‘un-fathered’.

We’re all responsible for the role men have in this world – we need, no matter who we are in terms of age, gender, race, political leaning, religion, and so on, to play a supporting and pivotal role in building each other up to be who we were born to be. We have a vital role to play in this world, individually and collectively, in ensuring the deepest love and nurture, guidance and discipline, hope and balance for every human on the planet.

It starts with you. It starts with forgiveness and a deep desire to make a change.

I urge you to read the book, DAD. It may not be the easiest gift for your dad this father’s day, but it’s certainly a must-read for anyone who is about to become a father – and also for anyone who has been fathered (everyone really).

Check out this link:

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