"Its funny. My dad has been gone now for thirteen years. Whatever I do, I still try to do it in a way which would make him proud. If I can be the man my dad wanted me to be, I am good with that. Then the rest just falls into place."
Okay ladies, this one might be more for men, but I think it is an important message to share with everyone. Yes, the main idea is for boys to grow into men who would make their father's proud. Not only proud, but knowing when your father sees how you act, what you do, how you treat women, he will know the training he gave you as a boy has paid off.
One of the most humbling things I have been told in my adult life was shortly after my dad had passed. My mother and I were chatting in the apartment we had just moved her into. Out of the blue she looked at me and said, "You know, your father was always proud of you. From the time you were in plays in high school and college, to your time in the Navy, your career, and your family." I was stunned. My dad and I always talked about stuff and chatted, but we never really "got deep". In other words, those were things he shared with his wife, but not with me.
I know I have made some mistakes and some missteps in my life. My imperfections run deep and wide. But to know that I turned out to be the man my dad wanted me to be, has more value to me than gold.
One of the things my dad would counsel me on starting when I was very young, was how to treat girls. And later on, how to treat women. My dad was noble, practiced chivalry, and was a gentleman. Not really uncommon in the "greatest generation". I watched my dad with amazement in how he dealt with people. A lover of people, he was always kind and had a very sharp sense of humor. Not a mean sense of humor, just a very funny one. It always put people at ease.
Why do I think of this now, when I am in my late 60's? For this reason. With all we have been hearing about the tawdry ways some men have been treating women as of late, I think about that nagging question. Is this the way their father's wanted them to be? Would their fathers be proud of them? Are they speaking to other women with the same respect they give to their wives? How about their mothers?
Why is important to have both a mother and father in the home? They both teach us different yet equally important things. Each day as we grow, we model our behavior after something they do. For young boys, the modeling they get from dad is especially important.
One more thing which is on the other side of the coin. I was blessed to have a great dad. Some are not. We can learn as much from bad behavior as we can from good. Many fine men I have known in my life who grew up in a troubled home told me they made a decision early in life they would not repeat their dad's mistakes. And they didn't.
Its funny. My dad has been gone now for thirteen years. Whatever I do, I still try to do it in a way which would make him proud. If I can be the man my dad wanted me to be, I am good with that. Then the rest just falls into place.