We all have fathers, but we don’t all have dads. Some dads have passed away. Some have been physically absent since we were born. Others are emotionally absent, though physically present. Some of us have multiple dads. Some of us were raised by our mothers. Others were raised by grandparents, or even adopted families.
To riff on Shakespeare, we might say that “Some of us are born to fathers, some of us find fathers, and others have fathers thrust upon them.”
But no matter what relationship we have to our biological father, each of us has at least one father-figure in our lives; someone whom we look to for an example of what a man can be, what a man ought to be, or simply what a man is. For better of for worse, we all have at least one.
The flip side of this is that each of us has the potential to be a father-figure (if not a biological father) to someone else. And this isn’t always something we get to choose. Indeed, some people have fatherhood thrust upon them.
Todays society is increasingly inclined to avoid responsibility, and shrug off obligation in the name of freedom and self-discovery. But if should ever find yourself in a position of fatherhood, voluntarily or otherwise, remember the importance of fatherhood in your own life, and don’t be afraid to man up.
The next generation is coming whether you like it or not. What kind of influence will you be?