Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fathers’ Day 2008

Let's not be mere bearers of their names but of their virtues as well

Come this Sunday it will be Fathers’Day.There will be many among us who will travel long distances
to be with our fathers on this auspicious day. Many more will not make it due to work and other
commitments. Others may not see the need to do so. Whatever situation we may be in, it is undeniable that our fathers played a very important role in shaping our destiny and for being what we are today including our physical appearance.

Many of us may be fortunate to still have our fathers with us, alive and healthy. Others may not be that lucky, their fathers may be seriously ill, handicapped or even dead. There are others whose fathers may be in their death beds waiting for a last glimpse of their children who for some reason or other are unable to fulfill that last wish of his.

Some of us may be unfortunate to have fathers who are lazy,irresponsible,drunkards and tyrants, but by enlarge most of us are endowed with fathers with all the positive attributes – caring, loving, responsible and hard working. They toil relentlessly day and night for our welfare.

On this auspicious day let us pause and relive the memorable days of our past with our fathers. Let us recall the pleasant as well the unpleasant experiences we had with him. Many of us are ourselves fathers and only now we fully understand the feelings of our own fathers when they undertook the arduous task of bringing us up to what we are today, in particular the unpopular but wise decisions that they had to make for our well being.

Many of our fathers were not so wealthy to provide us all the luxuries of life. It is not the expensive material gifts they gave us that we remember and cherish most but rather it was their small but heartfelt sacrifices that really touched us and remain embossed in our hearts till today.

We remember the days when, rain or shine, he used to carry us on his bicycle to and from school. We can imagine the sadness in his face when he was unable to give us what we asked for. We remember the smile in his face reflecting the pride in his heart when we excel in school, in examination or sports. We remember the touch of his hands that massaged our injured bodies and the reassuring warmth of his hug that gave us all the confidence that we needed so badly.

We remember the sadness in his face when we left home for the first time to further our studies. We remember the eagerness with which he waited for us each time we returned home from college and the “elaborate” plans he made to spend our short holiday with us.

We remember when some tragedy strikes the family, when everyone breaks down, weeping and yelling, he alone with great courage, conceals his emotions and fear and lifts us out of the mishap. Being fathers now, we appreciate the tremendous pain and agony that he would have endured to do that.

This is a day to reflect on how we have and continue to treat our fathers. Are we grateful for that they have done for us? Despite our exalted positions in life today, do we still accept them as the respectable head of our family which they were once, seeking their advice on all important decisions?

It is not money, food and gifts that they need. In fact many of them may not be in a position to enjoy the luxuries of what wealth can provide but we can spend a little valuable time with them, basking in the memories of the past.

Our fathers may be advanced in age and infirm and they may not have much time left with us. Some of us may even be contemplating sending them to some old folk's home due to various reasons. Whatever we do, our actions must be governed by love and gratitude for them not out of convenience as an easy way out. We must treat them in a manner which we will not regret later. We must not forget that our attitude and actions today will have a subtle but profound influence on our children, on how they would treat us in the future.

For those of us who are not fortunate enough to have our fathers with us anymore, let us not be mere bearers of their names but their virtues as well. Let us be the symbols of their values and principles in life for which they stood steadfast amidst all the trials and tribulations.

May the good Lord bless all fathers with many more years of good health, vitality and happiness with their loved ones.

Dr.Chris Anthony