Fathers are All Around Us

Today is Father’s Day, a time to celebrate the men who have played an important role in someone’s life.  Whether he is a dad, step-dad, caring uncle or concerned grandfather, men who love someone younger than themselves all display characteristics of “fatherhood.”

The concept of  “blood relations” has fallen away in the realities of today’s social and moral standards.  Adoption, same-sex marriage, and blended families make it almost impossible to adhere to strict bonds of blood.  That may have worked in feudal times, when life’s complications boiled down to survival with your “clan” but it surely does not apply in today’s world.

So that leaves us with the question of how to define “fatherhood.”  I think it boils down to this…if you are a man who has established an emotional relationship with someone younger than you, and you guide by loving advice, provide consistent, unwavering support and encouragement, then you qualify to be called a “father.”

But the best way to find out is to ask the other person.  You might be surprised by their answer!

Connections to the Past and Future

Today is Mother‘s Day.  A time to pay tribute to those women who gave us life and who guided us through the turmoil of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.  Today is also a time to take a breath and be thankful for our children or the people to whom we have been mentors.

Think of it as connecting the past to the present to the future.

We learn to relate to others from the people who raised us.  Our first experiences of relationship is with those who fed, bathed and clothed us.  If done with love and joy, we blossomed.  If anger or frustration sometimes showed their face, we shrunk.  Either way, we learned how to be with other people.

Those lessons are passed down to future generations.  Whether you have children or not, you can still be a mother.  Think of it as being a mentor, someone older and wiser who shares her wisdom with another.  The emotional connection can be just as strong whether you are biologically connected or not.

We all have something to share – a bit of wisdom that was hard-earned but runs deep.  A morsel of advice that sheds light on another’s dark day.  Even a smile that shows you care.

So let today be a celebration of love – for your self and the world.  We are all connected on some level.  We all share the same origin of birth.  We all have to negotiate our way through life, no matter who we are.

So be a mother, whatever that word means to you.  Find someone who could use an encouraging word, or a hug, or just a loving squeeze of the hand.  Let them know you care, and that love will connect us all.