A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...
Our parents are our first role models. Fathers teach us the difference between right and wrong, provide for us with love, affection, stability and security that we need while we are growing up. All they seem to want in return is love and respect. Even though we honor and appreciate fathers throughout our lives, to mark and celebrate Father's Day is a memorable and important event.
When I think of my own father, I recall his generosity and compassion toward us and more importantly toward all who crossed his path. We mostly noticed how, each month he would apportion certain amounts of his salary for persons in need, as well as, to charitable organizations. Each time he stepped out, he would carry small treats for impoverished children playing in the street. In a country like India, there were always tons of young children playing on city streets. I would often accompany him on these walks. Seeing a smile brighten a child's little face seemed to be the greatest highlight in his life. What I learnt from my father was to share with others whatever you are enjoying in your own life. If we are enjoying prosperity, share some of that with those who don't have enough.
This brings me to the role of fathers in today's world. We have at least two types of fathers. Ones who do not participate as much in raising their children, and the young fathers I see everywhere: In line for day-care pickups, wearing baby slings at the store, awake at 3:00 a.m. for a feeding or attending their children's sport events.
The traditional image of the father here in the United States, in the 1950's was one of the lawgiver, disciplinarian and CEO of the home, and the mother who submissively cared for the husband, children and the home. There is a new breed of fathers reasserting itself in American homes and in arenas that were traditionally dominated by mothers. This new species of fatherhood is shattering societal norms established generations ago. Take for instance, I don't think my grandfather was present at my father's birth, neither was it appropriate for my father to be around at my birth, in my generation I was with my wife when our daughter was born; and dads these days attend birthing classes with their wives, and play a huge role as a coach during the delivery of their children.
Although, I grew up witnessing great qualities of Generosity and Compassion with both my parents, these qualities have become the intangible legacy of my parents; however, as for myself I had to learn to be the quintessential modern father. Once I became a father, I gave my daughter a lot of my time and attention. We played together, playing puzzles, her dolls or having a picnic with her toy set. Most of all, I made sure that she was well taken care of, that she was happy and felt completely loved and secure.
Like my father before me, I trusted my daughter with most of her decisions. I wanted her to do well in whatever interested her most, to be honest, to be generous and to always enjoy her present moments. In this way, I am passing on my father's legacy to my child, with a hope and prayer that she will continue this tradition. To my father, I would like to say, "I honor your wonderful memories Dad, not just on Father's Day, but each and every day of my life, I love and respect you, and I remain faithfully grateful to you as long as I shall live!"
Happy Father's Day to all my readers!