VIEWPOINT: Father's Day 2012 Second Edition
Father's Day is this Sunday and represents the one day of the year that men are completely and totally the center of attention. Many times, fathers may feel as if their entire life and all their energy is given to caring for those they love, with little or no time left over for themselves. Well, let's make up this weekend by showering our men with lots of love and displays of affection.
Ask your husband or dad what their favorite dinner is and do your best to provide them with what they request. Be sure to include their favorite dessert. Stop at a local retailer this week and find a great card that expresses your sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for the selflessness with which they raised you or with which they are a team mate in the raising of your family. And then pick up the reputed shirt and tie in colors that will compliment their wardrobe, wrap them up with sparkling paper and ribbon and seal it with a kiss.
Father's Day can be a day of celebration, as well as a day to remember your dad, even if he is deceased. Spend some time recollecting the times he spent teaching you a new hobby, or perhaps he took you to a ballgame that you still remember today.
The noted anthropologist Margaret Mead said that the mark of a successful culture was one that has acculturated its men to be fathers. What a remarkable statement and one that we have seen played out throughout history. When men willingly settle down and enter into loving, trusted, reliable relationships with their wife and family, something marvelous happens. Their interaction with us, when it is positive and life giving, provides direction and encouragement for us that is unique and singular in its ability to touch and mold our lives.
My father is still living in Washington State and gave me something that has shaped and molded my entire life. When I was fourteen, he shared a book with me called "The Magic of Thinking Big," by David Schwartz. As he shared it with me, we talked about how important it is to challenge the norm and not settle for something less than we believe is right or in giving less than our best.
This message influenced my choices and the direction of my life and continues to do so today. His willingness to enter into a philosophical and intellectual discussion with his 14-year-old daughter was quite remarkable. I went on to fulfill his desires for me by assuming leadership positions all throughout my life and I believe I can directly attribute my desire to do so to him taking time to talk about important concepts and issues with me.
About a year ago, he called to say he was sending a package and that it should arrive in a few days. When the manila envelope arrived, I thought itwas a book, and indeed, it was. There, neatly and carefully wrapped, was his coveted copy of "The Magic of Thinking Big," with a note tucked inside that simply read, "Yours to keep."
I think if I had to say someone who has influenced and shaped my life probably more than anyone else, it has been my dad. With his deep desire to know the complexities and intricacies of what makes things better, as well as his willingness to share it with me, I believe he has touched my life in a way that I will never be able to completely thank him.
This Father's Day, think of something you can share with your dad that expresses your admiration and indebtedness to him for his presence in your life that has helped to make you who you are today. Even if he is no longer living, spend time thinking about how your father loved you and helped make you who you are today.
Soucheray is a Woodbury resident and licensed family therapist