Character defined and delineated by action…it is the stuff that great fictional movie characters are made of and great humanitarian leaders. So often we look outside our little world for that character – to people who have had their character noted by a larger constituency. Yet every day there are those that live in their example – that stand upright in the face of fear, are kind in an atmosphere that is cruel, utilize a moral compass that cannot be waylaid, and walk a walk that speaks volumes. When that person is a parent – more specifically a father that has been held up as the head of household – the influence of that good character often goes unnoticed in day-to-day activities. Typically, it isn’t until later that children are able to recognize the importance and formative nature their father’s actions had on their own development.
Ah, but a father’s imprint is profound. It is easy to see as one ages how that imprint has played out in one’s own development of self. Schools and other institutions can teach many things, but when it comes to character – well now, that is typically formed by those closest to you. It is in the things you watch others that you trust and believe in do in their everyday lives – those experiences are transformative.
Today is Father’s Day, the day we acknowledge and honor the men who committed to, and helped promote, our growth. Today is the day when grown children who have a strong work ethic, or a calm sensibility, or a patient soul, or a quiet command, or a commitment to family can stop and say, “I got that from my dad.”
Here is to the power of fathers to transform the world by their actions – here is to the men who lived their example and have left both an imprint and a legacy. I wish you a day of reflection and joy in which you recognize the power of your contribution in others’ lives. Look closely and you will see how the way you have lived and the choices you have made have materialized in the character of your children; then sit back and enjoy the day, because being able to accept the love and appreciation you receive today is also an important lesson.
Day one thousand and seventy-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da