A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way – Anonymous. Father’s Day couldn’t have come at worse time, at the backdrop of a trying moment for men in this country. Indeed its a time to ponder when the rain started beating us, and when zealousness and bragging rights of being a MAN hang its boots. When did society reduce fathers to mere scavengers of anything that upholds human dignity. That we are in bad books and clearly have work cut out to clean up the mess and redeem better perceptions, is an open secret. The thing is, we should be leading from the front.
Its in that note that I’m inspired by great fathers weathering the fog of a tainted image. I’m inspired by these great fathers who go about their businesses undistracted. Upholding the common good and endeavouring to even better themselves every day. Their resilience can only be compared to the Humming bird story by the legendary the Late Wangari Maathai. This unbowed bird does its best to put off fire that burns a forest which serves as home to the birds and all the wild animals. The rest of the animals stare at this hummingbird as it makes trips to and fro the nearest stream, to gulp some water, doing all it can in saving the situation. This bird is undeterred by the gazing looks from these animals wondering how material its effort would be in dousing the fire. I’m sure you know of the story. To akin dads doing the same in their lives; We toss to you.
To you dads who create time for your families away from land deals out of town; You that skip off that golf event to drive your son to the airport and happen to impact his life for 30 minutes with words of wisdom as you bid him bye; You that pay your kids school fees and family bills diligently; To you that work hard in life to ensure your children have a dignified upbringing; To you that rises early to bring something on the table later; We toss to you.
To you that instil discipline to your kids right when they start crawling; To you that make time to bond with your children and ice it with a hearty laughter; To you that teach your boys as they transform to men the aspect of delayed gratification, of saving more and spending less (You that drive before you buy ka -plot…life’s venom will catch up with you)…thank you. We need more of your youthful stories of how you ceased paying rent just when you were shy of hitting 30 with that meagre salary, managing to move in, to your mansion. Impact in us how to be patient with life and help us appreciate that instant success is never sustainable. This generation is short of such stories, we need them to save ourselves from ourselves.
To you fathers that instil in us, self drive and the habit of shunning mediocrity and dreaming big and the desire to remain committed to life goals, we toss to you. When a country’s economy gets tough and inflation sours, the worst hit are fathers since the burden of provision is biblically and traditionally bestowed in them. Withstanding that pressure and developing the know how of managing expectations is considered a virtue, losing a job notwithstanding.
Fathers handling aggressive career women and go getter entrepreneur ladies, with utmost respect, support and love; We appreciate your civil mindset. To you dads that diligently drop your kids to school; To you who sneak out at 5am to commute passengers to earn a living; We draw our inspiration from you.
My definition of greatness is found in the most ordinary and simplest of things; Like developing interest in your child’s performance in school and going through their homework; More of like sitting in a couch somewhere in a maternity room as your wife pushes hard; Or shopping together happily holding hands; Or being this man who deserves a cute look from your wife up on the balcony as she observes you play with your kids, some funny game on this manicured compound!
To you great dads that balance between yielding tough love and lending an ever available listening ear; To you chaps that play father figure roles to your relatives and friends who are single mothers ; you are simply the BEST. To dads working behind the scenes to breathe life to this name called MAN, unbowed by ridiculous shenanigans from a section of small men who prefer alcohol than family, we toss to you and celebrate you. Its through your ordinary life that you become extra ordinary. Thats what my pasi preached last Sunday! Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there and they that dare to be one.
To all my Muslim brothers and sisters, Ramadhan Kareem.