Thoughts on Father’s Day 2014
Several years ago I began to wonder why things like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any other of these “days” that are set aside to recognize and celebrate greatness, only occur once each year. I understand that we only have a limit of 365 days in a year to recognize these countless moments of greatness and achievement, so from that regard I get it…well kinda, but not really. I firmly believe that it is imperative to recognize the positivity in these parts of our lives far more frequently than we currently do. For this reason, I am a big believer in constant uplift and encouragement in light of a job well-done.
In our personal lives this can easily be done. These achievements are much closer to home, and could be separated from the more nationally or globally recognized “event”, most of which were designed only to promote capitalism and to accelerate consumerism anyway. Now…what can diminish the value of giving and receiving such positive feedback, is the feeling that it isn’t authentic – that it’s only being given as an automated gesture instead of a pure act of the heart. To make it authentic, we must seek out the positive as opposed to the negative. There is always something good to be found and noted, but only if this is our intent. Truth is, we will find which ever one we are seeking most.
Today the focus is on Father’s Day, since that’s what someone has designated this day to be. I recall the times when I was married and raising a family with the mothers of my young children, seeing my children on a day-to-day basis. Like most parents, I poured much of myself into making their lives the best I could – into making them the best people that I could by living a great example for them to follow. I also recall often feeling underappreciated for the investment I was making in their lives. I get that this is what we as parents are supposed to do, but many of us go that little extra mile, you know what I mean? That’s the part I’m talking about. I wanted to be noticed for that! I often felt like my partners were either unable or unwilling to see it, or just didn’t care or value it much. I don’t think now that this was actually the case, but the business of life can cause us to glaze over things we might otherwise highlight in our parenting partners’ efforts.
I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter if the parents are together in the same home raising the child(ren) together, if they’re doing a great job, tell them. Again, some will argue, “well it loses its value, Bradford, when you tell someone how great they are all the time.” To that my question is, Do you ever get tired of being told how amazing of a job you are doing in a particular area? If you said ‘yes’, then you’re lying! 😉 If you answered honestly with a ‘no’, then start today with letting your partner know how much you appreciate even the smallest things they do. But only do it if your intention is pure and springs from deep within. And every time you feel it, seize the opportunity to tell them again.
Here are a few example of what I mean:
1) “Honey, I really love the way you bathe our daughter with so much tender, loving care. Thank you for loving her the way you do.”
2) “Sweetheart, I want to thank you for the sacrifices you make to take our children to school in the mornings so that we can have that extra half hour with them before they’re off to school. It really means a lot to me.”
3) “Baby, I think you’re the most amazing mother a kid could hope for; we are all so lucky to have you.”
Now wasn’t that easy? The key here, however, is authenticity. If it isn’t authentic, you will risk sounding cheesy and scripted. When I think about saying these words to the women I co-parent with, tears form in my eye ducts – that is a sign of genuine, authentic gratitude. Try it, and let me know how it works for you. 🙂 List out the reasons to be grateful for them, and share with them one of them every day – sincerely mean it.
Personally, I don’t do what I do as a father to my children for any other reason than the fact that I love them. And I’m sure you feel similarly. Even though it feels good, I no longer look for praise, adoration, or the approval of others on how well I am parenting. I don’t even expect it from the kids themselves – I’ve learned better. I do what I do for them for a much higher cause. Simply, I want them to make a difference in our world, a difference that will tremendously improve the world we live in. I want my kids to positively impact your kids’ lives, and yours, and your kids, too. I want them to be a light in utter darkness; to seek and know only happiness, and to innerstand that life is but a dream, and that you can make that dream whatever you want it to be. I also want them to know that they ARE their brother’s/sister’s keeper, and that “life” is certainly worth losing if the cause is a worthy one. Because truly, can life ever really be lost?
Happy Father’s Day to all of my brothers in the struggle to raise young men who will hold our women in the highest esteem, and young women who overstand how to love and hold down her man. And to my sisters who are forced to be dad in the interim, keep doing what you’re doing – it’s working. 🙂 Each and every one of your contributions are valuable and appreciated, so be sure to make them as great as you possibly can!
20 BradfordSpoke 14
Bradford Speaks is a Life Architect, Coach & Youth Speaker, who desires to wake up the world to see one that it could exist in if only it could employ more love and less hate and war. He seeks to speak to and inspire our youth to live at a higher level of consciousness, to see themselves as their brother’s keeper. He is also an author and self proclaimed philosopher. You may visit his company’s site, Bradford Speaks Life Management, LLC to learn more about his work, and to schedule individual sessions or book him to speak to your youth organization.