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Father’s Day: Thank you for everything, dad

June 15, 2018


Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Very few relations hold as much meaning in life as the relation of a father and child. A father supports his family by providing all the necessary means he can. He is the head of a family and the problem-solver to whom everyone in the family looks up to. He is the manager of a house.

Father’s Day is meant to give respect to our fathers and show gratitude for all the pain he takes in supporting and providing for his family.

A common contentious point that relates to designated special days of the year arises when one reserves gratitude for close relatives on only those days of the year. In other words, we should respect, care and show our gratitude to our closest family members all through the year, rather than showing it on a single day.

Taking Father’s Day as an example, there should certainly be more to Father’s Day other than giving gifts to our fathers and sharing messages on their importance through social networking websites. It shouldn’t become just a single day meant to show our love and respect to our fathers. Rather, it should serve as a reminder of how much love and respect they truly deserve all year round.

On this important day, let us make a resolve to exercise more and more empathy for our fathers. And for that we need to understand the following things.

A father has to undergo a lot of work-related stress and sacrifices to provide for his family. It is our duty to make sure that he gets a chance to relax and unwind after facing all the problems. At the same time, we must refrain from activities that may become a source of tension for our fathers.

Showing respect to him is showing respect to oneself. This is deeper than it sounds. Those who show disrespect to their fathers get no respect from others around them who are aware of their behaviour. Moreover, a father is the first ever symbol of respect in our life. Forgetting this is forgetting ethics and morality.

Despite all our mistakes and flaws, a father does not give up on us. He considers it his duty to provide all that is necessary for us; and do everything he can to remove our flaws/mistakes and make us a better person. The least we can do is to realise this so that we can make at least a tiny bit of improvement in ourselves, sooner or later and live up to his expectations.

We are dependent on him for many, if not all, of our needs. In our desperate hour or time of need, he would bail us out of our troubles or problematic situation. Only a person who loves us unconditionally would do such a thing. So we need to value this love by caring for those who love us and are the ultimate source of strength and salvation for us.

We have the same DNA as our father and we acquire some or many of our personality attributes from him. We are essentially the same in many ways. We cannot be justified even in feeling remotely critical about him if we display the same personality attributes for which we are critical of him.

Life is harsh. This world is a cold place. To adjust to that, we need the support and guidance of our father, who has seen live and the world more than us and his experience is invaluable. His firmness and strictness at times prepares us for the male-dominated society and world we live in. He also teaches us to take calculated risks, overcome fears, be strong in hardships and never give up in times of lack of hope. He will also tell us about the realities of life and how to adjust to them. So we need learn to take our father as our mentor and counsellor.

Let us step into our father’s shoes and walk the life he is living and if we get as far as he has, we would come to know about all the sacrifices he makes for us, and his love and care.

My own personal experiences vouch for everything I have said so far. Based on them, I can safely say that whatever your experiences are in a father/son or father/daughter relationship, the bottom line remains — never show disrespect to your father.

Facts about fathers and Father’s Day

• According to some experts, the word ‘dad’ was coined in the 16th century.

• In the US, it is a custom to wear a rose on Father’s Day — red if your father is living and white if he has passed away.

• Father’s Day officially began on the proposal of a woman named Sonora Dodd in Spokane, Washington USA. Sonora wanted to honour her father who raised her after her mother died at child birth. She conceived the idea on hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day at a church service. This idea was popularised at a wider scale by American President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

• A new study shows that men who actively participate in household chores tend to have ambitious daughters with broader mindset about gender roles.

• Nearly 90 million cards are sent each year to fathers on Father’s Day.

• The most popular gift for fathers on Father’s Day is necktie.

• A father’s level of education is an important factor in determining a child’s success in school.

• Playing physical games like wrestling with father helps a child in brain development. This development relates to managing emotions and developing a balance between thinking and physical balance.

• The drinking fountain was invented as a tribute to his father by a person named Halsey Taylor in 1912. His father died of typhoid contracted by drinking contaminated water.

• According to rough estimates, there are over 1.5 billion fathers in the world.

By A. I.

Published in Dawn, Young World, June 15th, 2018