AS I WAS SAYING: Time to be the Dads we are supposed to be
I will always remember him for his kindness, amazing attitude and gentle nature. He was, to me, the definition of the Gentle Man.
His story is not uncommon. Broadcaster and author Tom Brokaw called my Dad and his contemporaries “The Greatest Generation” for their unfailing attitude in the most dire of circumstances.
So it is with a fair amount of certainty that I know how very disappointed they would all feel as they see the way things are today.
In the wake of the horror of Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, it is apparent that this is becoming too commonplace.
If Irish philosopher Edmund Burke is correct that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, then a generation of both men and women that fought through WW II and returned to create the greatest societal changes in the history of the world would do something more to change society’s view on violence than update a Facebook status or retweet a rainbow.
So in the spirit of Father’s Day on Sunday, let’s hit the reset button and start recreating a world of men who are craving to live up to their potential. The way my Dad would have seen it, a huge change can result by tackling two areas of life.
First, if we are going to be 100 per cent honest, let’s tackle the biggest problem facing men today. Pornography. If you have a buddy struggling with porn addiction, say something. Gently. Help him. If it is you, get help yourself. It is killing an entire generation of young men who will one day be fathers.
In the same way, we need to teach our sons that porn is demeaning to women and has nothing to do with love. At a recent men’s conference I attended, a guest speaker gave some horrific accounts of how pornography is making it almost impossible for some young men to have a natural relationship with women.
This is beyond serious and has rapidly become a virtual epidemic among young men. If this is true, and even anecdotal evidence points in that direction, then we are failing our sons, and even more startling, our daughters who will find it increasingly difficult to find a natural bond with a young man who grew up discovering all he needed to know about women from pornography.
The second area is debunking the myth that real men are lone wolves like Steve McQueen on a motorcycle. Not true. Guys need guys. Men need to know other men have their backs, are familiar with their struggles and are willing to be true friends and step in when they get stuck, need help or screw up.
We become role models for each other, examples to our children and a great support system for each other’s families.
I know that the world isn’t set up this way for men. We are “deadbeat dads”, sitcom oafs for patient but exasperated wives and weekend couch potatoes.
But Red Green was right. We’re all in this together. It’s never too late to be the Dad or man you want and need to be, and regardless of what society has to say on the matter, I firmly believe that women want that too.
This Father’s Day, let’s help other do it. If we want to be better fathers, we need to be better men.
If you don’t have a close knit group of buddies, go join a group. Get some help cleaning up some bad habits and start with a fresh outlook.
The next generation of men are watching us from school desks and across dinner tables. Let’s show them what they need to do to become great fathers in their time.
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