Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Father's are like superheroes! My father's no exception. With a career in law enforcement, he worked diligently and with little pay to ensure public safety and uphold the law. I admire his highly developed sense of morality and the lessons he teaches us by example.

Men don't teach the nurturing ways of the hearth, instead, they instill proficient skills of the hunt. Nothing less than strength, boldness, a sense of adventure, insight, courage, and leadership comes from my father. Still, there's a quiet gentleness that is unspoken. There's no need for lengthy discussions on what went wrong or how someone feels, we just move on with the understanding that we're moving forward together.

Father's know how important it is to spend time alone (usually in the man cave), to listen for guidance (especially if he's in earshot of my mother), and to replenish the spirit (restoring an antique car or motorcycle). The responsibility to be firm-but-kind is taught by example. Boys and girls alike, are taught to lift, tote, build, and to cook, serve, and clean up. Through these tasks we learn the skills of listening and seeing through the eyes of the other gender.

Having an accomplished father figure in my life makes me a better mother. There are many cultural expectations of what it means to be both a man and a woman, but there's much we, as women, can learn from men while raising our own sons and daughters. An ability to master the craft of leadership in all its broad aspects, the desire to discover the wonders, excitement, and pride of accomplishment, and the recognition of strategy behind choosing our battles carefully.  

As we move beyond the societal expectations of independence and inter-dependence based on gender roles, we can develop into a new, more compassionate humanity employing a balanced sense of self, sense of identity, and sense of purpose that doesn't diminish when we push the cultural expectations to a new level of awakening.  

This blog is for you, dad. For all you do. Because you were brave enough to feel and express your feelings without the shame or fear of being seen as weak. Because you solve problems through love and care rather than violence. For your intolerance of misogyny and the objectification of females. Because you claim your connection with us and let us feel like you've got everything covered so we don't have to worry...

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies, 
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating, 
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up without wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after their gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! 

Richard Kipling (1865 - 1936)
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