The effect of fathers

Today is the day you find exactly how much I’ve written. A friend of mine posted this on Twitter this morning, and I felt it was the wrong thing to post on Father’s Day. 

 I’ve inherited many things frommany foolish men. I can’t change my face, wouldn’t change my stubbornness and will be changing my last name.

I wouldn’t say Father’s Day is an emotional time for me. Having them choose other families over me is their loss, not mine.

She’s been through a lot and had some really bad experiences with her fathers. However, it’s an extremely myopic view of the roles we celebrate on Father’s Day. 

It certainly is a father who loses when he chooses to not be involved in a child’s life; however to post this smoldering vitriol does her more pain than it will ever cause the men she might be trying to implicate. 

Far better on Father’s Day would be to recognize the positive impact men have made on us–not just fathers. We do similarly on Mother’s Day. Often we recognize all women and the nurturing, beneficial effect they’ve had on us. The cliché is right: it takes many to raise a child. 

Why would we not recognize those individuals of both genders?

My father made time for me. While I was young, I looked forward to him coming home from work and going out to play catch with me. He supported me is all my sporting endeavors. He taught me tons of skills I hope to never need: using drills, skill saws, hand saws, shovels, and more. 

He went with me on scouting camp outs and taught me to dislike them intensely. He served with me in stake youth callings and taught me the importance of leading by guiding and not by commanding. 

But he’s not the only man who has influenced me positively during my life, and paying tribute to those other men is important to me.

The ward we grew up in had many young married couples. More men than I can remember influenced my youth. They served as leaders in the ward and I learned from their insights and examples. They provided guidance of an authority who wasn’t my parents and provided additional lenses to look through as I strengthened my testimony. 

So Marc, Ben, Ed, Daniel, Dave, and Kevin, thank you. 

Despite hating campouts, my scout leaders positively influenced me. Wayne and Darren taught me (among other things) to endure things I dislike, put up with people wIth whom I don’t get along (major reasons for hating campouts), and love my elitist view of sports and competition. 
As I’m matured, men in areas I was passionate about provided guidance and mentorship. My high school volleyball coach taught me to peruse my passion, learn everything I could about it, and work hard to become better at it. 

His guidance led me to earn jobs in and after university that allowed me to support myself, to work with world class volleyball coaches at BYU, and learn lessons of leader ship from them. 

Interestingly, most of the BYU coaches taught me to stay away from pursuing a career in volleyball. The players they coached had no idea how to balance their lives. Most of them were similar: they were so volleyball focused that areas of their lives were completely ignored. 

Shawn Olmstead stood in stark contrast to the rest. He welcomed me into his team’s group and taught his players to do the same. I saw balance was not impossible, simply difficult to attain. 

As I progressed through university, many of my professors provided guidance and help. I often sought their input and suggestion as I struggled deciding to follow career paths. Tony, Dave, Gil, and Gove made major impacts on me and what I chose to do personally and professionally. 

I needn’t have sired a child to impact his or her life. I simply need to care and share. If a child goes through life without having a man care for them and share with them, that is a tragedy. 

I don’t know who’s lives (if any) I’ve strongly impacted or been able to impact as these men impacted me, but I want to. I hope for now that desire is enough. I strongly care about those around me, and I’m always willing to share my experiences and feelings with them. 

And that’s what matters. That’s what we celebrate today: men and fathers who have impacted us. 

About the author: Lee J

Lee J Hinkle spends his days writing video game code. It was never a job he expected to have. Check out Rogue Invader online. Any search will send you to the right spot. Unless the language is foreign. Then maybe 50% will be right. He tries to be a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hopes his Father recognizes his efforts.