think back to the day I drove Michelle and a newborn Malia home from
the hospital nearly 13 years ago—crawling along, miles under the
speed limit, feeling the weight of my daughter’s future resting in
my hands. I think about the pledge I made to her that day: that I
would give her what I never had—that if I could be anything in life,
I would be a good father. I knew that day that my own life wouldn’t
count for much unless she had every opportunity in hers.” —
could have used the words of many different fathers for this message
but the reason I chose these from President Obama is due to the fact
that much of his younger years his father was absent and unknown to
him. So often we hear or read the words that we are strengthened
through struggle and so perhaps it was that struggle that the young
Barack Obama went through with his attempts to reconcile his
relationship with his father to one of normalcy that created in him
the conviction to be the father to his children that he never had for
himself. All evidence shows that he has been a wonderful father
to his children even with all the pressures of the Office of the
President. And in our current culture a role model for fathers
is so important for so many.
that in all things the spirit of man is the determining factor in
whether he will be a success or a seeming failure. This is also
true in his role of father. Those who live in the experience of
low self-esteem or in the mind-set of blame and negativity generally
fail in their role as a father. We cannot give what we do not
have and a father cannot give his children confidence and feelings of
self-worth if these things are not part of his own
consciousness. We hear so much about absent fathers failing
their children but we don't hear so much about failing fathers with
children unless there is a tragic event that occurs.
Today reported in 2014 that on average 450 children in the U.S. are
killed each year by their parents. Fathers are more likely to
kill. Men killed six out 10 children, most often beating or shooting
them. Fathers were at fault in 75% of cases when children were shot to
death by a parent and in 64% of cases when a child was beaten.
These are grotesque facts but facts nonetheless. Men are far
more likely to act violently against their children to "get
even" with their wives or girlfriends than women are. A
Missouri man was sentenced to only 7 years in prison for killing his
son. People who embezzle money are given longer sentences!
Men who commit spousal abuse are more likely to commit child
abuse. And men are much more likely to fail to take
responsibility for their children than mothers are.
some recent statistics: "One
of the largest shifts in family structure is this: 34% of children
today are living with an unmarried parent—up from just 9% in 1960,
and 19% in 1980. In most cases, these unmarried parents are single.
However, a small share of all children—4%–are living with two
cohabiting parents, according to CPS data."
This is not a
very uplifting message for "Father's Day" and it is sad that
it is so. For many children "Father's Day" is a burning
memory of something horrible, something cruel and ugly, that fills
their minds with shame and fear. Just as the politicians fail to
name the role of racism and guns for many of the problems that we have
in this country, far too many people, including the Mass Media, have
failed children by not giving the necessary attention to this growing
problem of parental violence and abandonment of children. The
child abuse at the hands of priests in the Catholic Church got some
attention for a short while but soon that too was ignored by and large
by the Media. And most Catholics found their own selfish
justifications in remaining in the churches that did more to protect
the perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse of children than they
did to protect their victims. Even
in the most extreme cases I have never heard of there being an empty
Catholic church on a Sunday ... and there should have been hundreds of
Master Mind Jesus taught, "Let the little
children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these." The important words for
each of us are "come to me" ... this "me" is
synonymous with the infinite "I" which is G-d within us.
The children of the world belong to one Father (Spirit) and it is the
Love of G-d within us, that part of G-d within us, that calls us
to care for them, to demand that they be protected even from their
earthly fathers and mothers. Children will probably always have
fathers who are absent, yet each of us, if our heart is in tune with
the Love of G-d, will find an opportunity to fill the void in a
child's life that has been created by an absent father. We can
do this in individual ways or we can do this through the many
organizations that offer this opportunity. As fathers become
absent, we can make it possible for children to look a little farther
away to experience the love of a dad.
man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”
— Anne Geddes
SO IT IS!
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