AND Thanks to all the Dads

June 15th, 2014

I reread last year’s entry for Father’s Day and found that I marvel at my Dad just as much today as a year ago. I have borrowed from the prior entry and added some new points as my Dad continues to be an inspiration to me and the many people whose lives he touches every day. And I know that many others serving as dads do as well. In a time of changing roles for many dads, I hope those who choose to guide and parent realize the impact they have on their kids and the ripple effect of their influence. The reach is exceptional.

I am fascinated by how one person living from the heart can make such a positive impact on so many people. My Dad has been the perfect teacher for me for my entire life, AND as near as I can tell, for many other family members and friends, as well. When I was little, he told me that it never made sense to him that people would get upset with each other and be frustrated and angry, only to eventually find humor in the situation days or months later. “Why waste the time being angry,” he used to say, “when you can laugh in the moment something happens?”

The ripple effect of that one message on the people he touches directly and indirectly through them is a reminder of how much seemingly little things and off hand comments can shape lives for a long time to come. We often look for big events and major decisions to change lives when it is the simple messages from the heart given in love and received gratefully in love that impact lives both in the short and long term.

Kind words are within the reach of the humblest. Simple offers of help the same. The parents who walk this earth living from these mantras are the fabric of healthy families and societies. They are the giants on whose shoulders we can stand to offer our gifts. What if all we need to spread the wealth is to see, celebrate, and live into the gifts they bestow every day? We can honor their gifts by stepping into our own.

The opportunity to see the person behind the words and role of father, daddy, and dad is a gift worth opening. At a time when roles are changing rapidly, all the research on the positive impact of fathers on children’s lives shows a powerful and necessary role for the development of healthy families and societies.

Father’s Day is a great time to say thank you, a great time to marvel at the heroes in our lives who touch the lives of so many with their gifts, a great time to recognize those who have taught us about life, and a great time to celebrate those who continue to do so–just by living from their hearts and teaching their children to do the same by their example.

Thank you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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