To: Dads…From: The Men You’ve Raised

Today, pour two drinks. One for you, and one for your old man. He deserves it.

There is a lot going on today to write about, but none of that matters because today, we celebrate Father’s Day. I wish we would change the name to ‘Dad’s Day’ because everybody has a father, but not every father is a dad.

If you’re one of the people who doesn’t have a dad today or only ever had a father instead of a dad, I truly am sorry. But don’t feel sad, feel proud of yourself that you got to where you today and celebrate that person in your life that became your dad and got you to where you are.

Dad serves one of the most important roles in our lives. The role is particularly more important if you’re a male, which in today’s world is an all-too-complicated question I suppose.

As a male (that’s always been a male) I have seen the role my dad has played in my life and understand it now more than ever.

My dad has made me a man.

That’s a very common phrase that people say all the time about their dads. Some people get offended by it because they think there is no difference between the roles of a man and a woman. And while I agree that men and women are equally powerful beings, I believe each gender has different strengths and responsibilities. But this is more about being a man, rather than a boy, because there is a difference.

What do I think my dad, and good dads like him, have taught me about being a man?

Men are tough. Not ‘meathead at the gym, beating the crap out of somebody’ tough. Tough in the sense that we have to be able to stand strong through a storm. Whether it’s a physical storm, an emotional storm or a spiritual storm, men Do. Not. Back. Down. Period.

Men are protectors. Women are not defenseless creatures. They are powerful, more so than men in a lot of ways. But as men, it is our responsibility to reinforce their safety and the safety of al the things we hold dear.

Men are fair. We don’t look to gain anything at somebody else’s expense. Whatever we have, we earn fair and square. We’ll tell you what we’re going to do, and do it.

Men are honest. If we screw up, which you ladies know is a frequent occurrence, we’ll admit it and use it as a way to teach somebody something. We don’t hold back our thoughts and our beliefs. We tell it like it is, whether it’s easy to hear or seemingly unbearable.

Men are thoughtful. We think a lot, but that’s okay. This, to me, is a huge difference between the boys and the men. We think through every situation we are in. We think about how to improve those around us. We think about how to improve ourselves. And after we’ve thought it through instead of ‘felt’ it, we act.

Men are compassionate. Many people think you have to choose between being tough and being compassionate. That’s not the case. We know how to be both. We genuinely care for others and their well-being. We have emotions and there is nothing wrong with showing them, but the key is knowing when.

Men are dependable. This one is a struggle for many of us. But when you become a man, you should be able to be relied on. Consistently there when people need us to be even if that means giving up own own interests for it.

Men are respectful, and in turn, respected. I’ve always been taught that respect is earned. Never give anybody a reason to disrespect you. Be respectful of other men, and more importantly of women, and you will get the respect you’ve earned. But even if not, don’t worry about it.

Men lead. Don’t get your panties in a wad, ladies, I’m not saying women can’t lead. I’m saying all real men have the ability to lead. When things go wrong, we should be able to be looked to for leadership. Maybe it’s time we elect some real men to our government.

Men are faithful. Whether it be to our women, or to our God, we dedicate ourselves. We do everything in our power to remain true to those we love.

Men sacrifice. No matter what, we are willing to give up our own pleasure, comfortability or safety for other. Whether that means driving around in an old truck so we can pay for kids’ school, or working two jobs to pay for a night out with our significant others.

Men love. I mean this as a real verb. We love people. We may have differing views, differing thoughts or straight up dislike you, but we will love you. No matter where you come from or where you’re going, we love you. We love those close to us and we show it.

Being a man doesn’t mean being tall. It doesn’t mean being physically strong. It doesn’t mean having a lot of hair, being loud, being dominant or being a good drinker. I’ve known plenty of males who are all of those things but aren’t men (See your local frat house.)

Being a man is about being a person.

So thanks dad, and all the other dads out there for being men. And thanks for making us into men.

Happy Dad’s Day. Bottoms up.

Dad copy
The men who made me a man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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