Real men take responsibility

2008-04-21 00:00

As we are about to celebrate Mother’s Day in May it seems strange that Father’s Day does not hold the same significance for me.

My life would have probably turned out differently if I had been raised by both parents. I believe that my father does not love me and no one can convince me otherwise. This, of course, has been fuelled by his absence in my life. I’m sure he does not even know what I look like, let alone how old I am.

My parents divorced when I was very young and I have been with my mother since then. She, of course, in my eyes can do no wrong (she is my rock, my lion, my sanity and above all my best friend). She has loved me and will continue to do so no matter what. I don’t think that fathers understand the effect that their lack of interest has on their children.

I guess how you behave is up to you and how you handle being rejected by a parent depends on how strong you are. I guess I’m pretty strong because I believe in the saying “your attitude determines your altitude”. I have been raised by a mother who has taught me (through action) to rise above the negativity and be a strong woman.

A lot of children, especially boys, use the excuse of not growing up with their fathers to justify the people they later become in life. I suppose it is hard to be a man if you have no one to teach you.

Everything that a parent does affects his or her children, be they sons or daughters. It is then up to you to choose which path you take. Change what you can and accept what you cannot. I see a lot of young black men (in particular) all around me refusing to take their place in society as they do not know how to love, how to be responsible and how to raise their sons and daughters.

I could have chosen to hate all men but instead I have chosen to embrace my family as it is. I now have my own son whom I must raise to be able to stand up and take his place in society. Hopefully his father will also choose to be there for him.

While I was growing up it used to bother me when other children spoke about their fathers. I used to wonder why my father was not there for me. I will never know the joy of receiving a birthday present from him or having him walk me down the aisle when I get married — if I eventually get married.

I used to feel sorry for myself and felt as though something was missing. As I got older things changed. I started feeling sorry for him; he has missed out on so much and the saddest part is that he missed out on a relationship with his first grandchild.

If I were to see a psychologist I would be told that I harbour a lot of anger towards my father. Anger does nothing but eat away at you and he does not deserve any emotion from me. Our society is decaying. A lot of it has to do with our attitudes, and some of it has to do with the lack of love for our children and the people around us.

I still maintain that we can turn things around by changing the person in the mirror first. If you are man enough to make a baby, you must also be man enough to take responsibility and raise that child.

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