Good Afternoon, readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events in the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.
Father’s Day was this past weekend, and with it a multitude of thoughts came to my mind. On one hand, I truly feel as though Father’s Day, or rather good fathers in general, are often in the shadows of their female counterparts. And for good reason, to be fair. Mothers are irreplaceable. They birth the child and nurture them in a way that simply cannot be replicated, and in a lot of ways it’s simply natural. The amount of single mothers in the world doesn’t help the negative stigma either. I believe that fathers are often undermined by the negative preconceptions of not only fathers, but men as a whole, which I believe to be unjust to the fathers out there doing their best, unconditionally loving and supporting their children. With that in mind, this column is a bit different from Mother’s Day. The question I have for the public is:
How has your father impacted your life? And in what way do fathers in general impact their children? Here’s what the people have to say:
“The male figure in my life was my stepdad. He taught me a lot of things and raised me, along with my mother, to be a woman of God in the best way that he could. I grew up in a Christian household and he was always very stern in his views and beliefs no matter how popular or unpopular they were, and I feel that’s why I am the way I am now.”-Jaylah Stegall
“The father I aspire to be with my daughter currently is one that will transcend the definition that was imprinted in our minds for centuries. Labels do not determine fatherhood, love does. Money does not determine fatherhood, value does. And most importantly, a man doesn’t determine fatherhood, but his character and actions do. To unequivocally pour your heart into a vessel that you call your own is breath-taking and even scary at times. The sacrifices that fathers make across the world are many in multitude and those very sacrifices construct the backbone of families worldwide. If we were never to have a father who risked and gave their all for us to become better people, where would we be?”-Eric Adejuwon
“I believe that a father maintains a very crucial and influential role in the upbringing of their child, blood related or not. This figure educates their child in the things that are typically associated with the more masculine aspects of life like assertion, aggression or toughness. I like to think of fathers representing the physicality of the upbringing while mothers are the more emotional half.” -Derrione Smith
“My father has had an enormous impact on me by giving me foundational principles to better navigate life. Between being a financial supporter, emotional pillar, and academic motivator, he stands above all men in my life and I have the utmost level of respect for him. My father will always be my number one fan and I hope to one day reciprocate the same energy, principles and wisdom to my children.” -Prince Ibe
I believe that a father is a necessity for any child growing up, not particularly because I believe in the “masculine” perspective that he could bring to a child, but rather the added perspective. I think that, ideally within a household, a child should be exposed to both masculine and feminine energies equally in such a way that they would come to gradually understand and appreciate them both. Just from what I’ve seen in my life, the trends that I’ve seen are that regardless of how they’re raised, a child that is raised by a single mother tends to quickly resent other men, and vice versa. Not out of resentment for their absent parents, but rather out of genuine discomfort and unease. After all, when you only have a single mother or father to come home to, it can be difficult to relate to other men or women who feel more “masculine” or “feminine” than yourself in comparison. I feel that both mothers and fathers are necessary in any household and without that balance, a child starts off emotionally disadvantaged and insecure. With that in mind, there are many great and outstanding fathers out there, and I wish them the best, and hope they continue to be a great guide for their sons and daughters.
This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!