Fathers choose more than their own futures
Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012 8:01 pm
By: By Glenda Caudle
If you are a father, raising your son to behave like a gentleman by precept and example, thank you.
If you are a father, raising your daughter to behave like a lady by insistence and encouragement, bless your heart.
It’s easy to be disheartened at the state of fatherhood in general today. The forces opposing what has been counted acceptable behavior for generations are so strong, it must seem an overwhelming battle most days. Some dads have clearly surrendered already.
Others appear to be trying, but they don’t seem to have a firm grasp of the battle plan and they keep ignoring the Supreme Commander’s instructions in favor of less strenuous and “safer” assaults of their own design.
And some have simply gone AWOL.
Maybe they never intended to be real soldiers in the battle to raise worthwhile human beings to begin with, but they were beguiled by a glowing incentive plan that obscured the resulting obligations.
When reality set in, they were more than willing to let Uncle Sam’s more responsible soldiers carry their share of the burden. And they counted on, and prospered, under an earthly commander in chief and an array of his generals so much more interested in earning support at the ballot box than on securing victory on the battle field between right and wrong that they turn not only a blind eye, but an encouraging eye, to the soldier-father’s desertion.
I talk — frequently — to the true soldiers who get wounded in battles they might not have had to fight if everyone had done their part. I watch those enlisted in the war wage not only their own hard battles, but the ones the spineless deserters make more dangerous.
And I lose count of the “little” walking wounded. Some other soldier may be tending their cuts and bruises, but the ones the fatherhood deserters inflict as they flee tend to fester despite the best efforts. Some other soldier may be sharing rations with them, but the heart hunger for a father’s presence continues to gnaw until it rips a gaping hole that will likely never heal.
So you’ll have to forgive me if I have a jaundiced view of claims on manhood that spring from nothing more than random biological capabilities that bestow the name “father” on a male.
This is how I see it, guys:
There are virtually no tests to pass before you can be accepted into the army of fatherhood.
Your gender is the ticket that counts.
Behavior can get you drafted.
Or a devoted soldier can volunteer.
But whether or not you serve responsibly, whether or not you add a medal, whether or not you retire with honor — that’s all up to you.
Every army has its heroes.
Every army has its deserters.
Every man chooses which he will be.
Special Features Editor Glenda Caudle may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.20.12