Father’s Day is a time to celebrate those men in our lives that have stood up to the task of molding and supporting a next generation of human beings. I’m certainly blessed to have a biological father to do the job, but father is an archetype that can include non-biologically related men as well who have served as parents, mentors, role models, etc. I myself am not a father, but I know a pretty damn good one, and the good ones, are elite. And frankly, I think we can all learn from what the good one’s do.
Dad’s are the buddies. The guys that you do activities with. Go carting, golfing, boating, splitting wood etc. Wrestling on the carpet, football in the backyard, basketball behind the garage. Dads do things. Fun things. With their young. Are we friendly? What is one thing we can do at home, at work, or at practice, that cultivates “buddy”?
I could easily have a blog about some of my wild adventures and misfortunes. And honestly, it might even be more entertaining than my current blog. However, there are times and places for those type of stories. Some of those stories have been met on the other side by, you guessed it, my dad. No matter how stupid I was, or how pissed off he was, at the end of the day (or week) he loved and accepted me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Unconditional positive regard is a very powerful Rogerian principle and when you have it, you know it, and when you know it, you’re grateful for it. Are we unconditionally accepting of others or ourselves? If not, why not? How can we develop this principle within ourselves?
I’m taking some creative liberties here and would have rather used the term “wise.” But there isn’t a “W” in father. Telepathic is close though. Dads just seem to know, don’t they? They draw from their experiences and gut instinct and find ways to pass that information on to their “young.” Many times I did not accept or implement by dad’s particular prophecies and many times I wish I would have. But that is also part of the gig. Dads are there as a wise prophet trying to guide us in the right direction and when we fall off, well, see “accepting” above. What wisdom do we have to offer? What does our particular expertise tell us about the potential future? Are we in a position to share that with others? Are we willing to?
Not only are dad’s wise and telepathic, but there’s no bullshit either. Moms (generally) will butter you up, make you your breakfast, and tell you you’re a star. Dad’s bring you down to earth a bit. Offer you feedback. Constructive criticism. Dads “keep it real.” No doubt a great balance. Support coupled with legit, straight shooting reality, done from a place of accepting love. How honest are we? Do we shoot it straight from a place of support? What holds us back? Where do we get it wrong? How can we adjust and deliver non bullshit feedback from a warm, unconditional place?
Dads teach you things. How to ride a bike, change a tire, throw a football, split wood, or buy a car. They don’t even have to be experts. They just know enough and have the relationship to pass this skill based knowledge onto their “young.” What knowledge do we have to instill? Do we have enough of a relationship with the receiver to have that knowledge be accepted? What needs to change? We don’t need to know it all to be an expert, just know more than someone else. My dad did.
You can count on dads. Dads are always there. I am so blessed to still have my dad and he still has my back whenever I need it. He’s there to offer his simple advice when I need it. He’s there to affirm, to challenge, to validate. I know many people aren’t as fortunate to have their parents still living, however those teachings are always still there. Because thats how reliable dads are. They are and always will be “there.” Can people count on us? Can we stand by our word? Are we able to be there when others need us? Are we reliable?
Happy Father’s Day to all the kick ass dads that are out there. Happy Father’s Day to those that are doing the good work that others might have skipped out on or weren’t equipped for at the time or left too soon. AND for those of us who are not fathers we can still take a lot of valuable lessons from these amazing people and apply them in our own personal and professional lives. Why? Because F.A.T.H.E.R. said so.