It certainly comes as no surprise that fathers are important or that a special day has been set aside for remembering Dad. Sure, mothers got their day first; but the people in charge of designating special days finally got around to the obvious: Fathers deserve being honored too. The challenge is in knowing how to do that.
Yes, warmest feelings and gentle memories, poignant moments and unconditional love each vie for inclusion in any heartfelt honor and sincere recognition. They are the prime ingredients that a father adds to the lives of his children, the building blocks of the adults they become. Father’s Day is thus a day to remember, a day to say, ‘Thank you, thank you for those gentle feelings and intimate moments, thank you for the love you shared without cost or condition.’
So much for the sentimental and touching. Dad likes hugs and nice words as much as the next guy but it’s important to take care not to get carried away. It would not be appropriate to unnecessarily embarrass Dad, particularly on his special day. Instead, let me share with you a few things I learned from Dad that you too may find worth knowing. To make it easy to remember, think of the importance of FATHER.
‘F’ is for fishing. If you are serious about it, you need to pay attention and be patient. If you are not serious about it, there are at least a hundred things to do that are more fun.
‘A’ is for attitude. Of course, a positive attitude is important but not the most critical piece of information to take with you as you journey down the road. The most important thing to know is that if you don’t expect to win, there is little point in playing the game.
‘T’ is for tough guys. If you run into one in a dark alley, you are in deep trouble; but smart guys win over tough guys every time, especially if they are smart enough to stay out of dark alleys.
‘H’ is for helping out. Since you can seldom accomplish anything worthwhile on a do-it-yourself basis, your success depends on getting others to help out. How do you do that? you already know how, don’t you? Of course you do. Your success depends on helping others succeed.
‘E’ is for effectiveness. I had just played in my first and last junior high football game and my Dad asked, ‘How do you think you did?’ I said, ‘I don’t think I was very effective. Football may not be my game.’ He smiled and said, ‘I think you may be right. Maybe you would do well to find a game where you can be more effective and then spend your time getting really good at it.’ Now there is something worth knowing. Start with something where you are already effective and then concentrate on getting better and better at getting better and better.
‘R’ is for responsibility. Yes, I know. You already know about this too. It’s pretty simple. That’s where you do the right things right, the first time, on time, every time. The world won’t come crashing down if you don’t; but a lesser standard is about as silly as no standard at all. You deserve the best and that starts with giving everything your best, every time, with everyone, no exceptions, no excuses.
Hey Dad, Happy Father’s Day!