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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tribute to Father's, Mentors on Father's Day

Whether your father is sitting across from you today or tucked deep within your heart, Father's Day is a designated day on the calendar to recognize the person who helped develop you into the person you are today.

Parenting doesn't come with a manual and all of us learn on the job. Keep in mind that people do the best they can at the time, with what they've got. Reflecting back most of us would do things differently knowing what we do now. I know while we were raising our kids one of our fears was something dreadful happening to them and of course as parents it is our job to keep them safe. So just getting them to their 18th birthday in one piece is quite an accomplishment.

In today's world, what is a normal family? Who sets that criteria anyway? We're all dysfunctional to some extent, I suppose, which is what makes family histories so interesting.
The more time that goes by since my Dad's passing, the more at peace I am with the "what could have been if..."

It is best to put aside any negativity and focus on the warm fuzzies of our memories.
As I mature in my own development, I can better understand the environment in which he grew up and what was going on during that time period to influence the man he had become.
People are what they are and usually do what they think is right at the time. 

Perspective is key to outlooks and attitudes. My mother's wisdom was always,
"If you can do something about it, do it, if not, accept and Let Go, Let God"

The words of Buddhist teacher Gil Fronsdal: “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”
That realization will give you hope for a far brighter present.

From a biblical point of view, we are taught to first be a good example to our children since they listen and observe everything we do. Second, we are to give them a sense of significance. To feel valued and secure is so very important for personal success.
Last, we are to release them to their own lives and let them shine in their own right.

So, realize your parents did the best they could and now apply your best to your own children or those to whom you mentor.
Make contact and connect with that special dad, step-dad, uncle, friend...be it through a visit, phone call or prayer.

Father's Day poses as just the perfect occasion to express feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to every dad in the world. Though the day is celebrated with utmost fervor and enthusiasm in the present times, it wasn't always that way. The  Father's Day celebration had a modest beginning. It's history dates back to 1909, in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother's Day sermon, at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. The lecture inspired her to have a special day dedicated to her father, William Jackson Smart, who raised herself and her siblings after their mother had died.

Sonora realized the enormity of her father's dedication and commitment to his family. She wanted to let him know how deeply she was touched by his sacrifices, courage, selflessness and love. To pay a tribute to her beloved dad, Sonora held the first Father's Day celebration on 19th of June 1910, on the birthday of her father. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance. However, unlike Mother's Day, which was readily accepted, Father's Day was received with mockery and hilarity. Though the day was gaining attention, it was mostly for the wrong reasons. Jokes and satire made ridicule of this chosen day of celebration.

In 1913, a bill in accordance with making the day official was introduced. The idea was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Later, in 1924, the idea gained further momentum as it was supported by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City. However, it was thirty years later that a Joint Resolution of Congress gave recognition to Father's Day. Another 16 years passed before President Richard Nixon established the third Sunday of June, as a permanent national observance day of Father's Day in 1972.

Father's, or any male serving as a role model, certainly deserve the respect of being acknowledged on this special day of honor.