The world is in tears. We are weeping children, crying out for love, direction, meaning and strength.
The world is mourning the loss of their fathers.
There are those amongst us who remember our fathers. Strong men, who simultaneously infused us with love and fear. Giants whom we were terrified of disappointing. Their accomplishments, moral fortitude and bravery stood like mountains of greatness in our youth, and only grew taller and taller as we ourselves matured. Wisdom poured forth like water from a faucet, and discipline was an unspoken consequence.
The fantastical, mythical giant that was my father lived (lives) inside of me always. At every turn, choice, decision, his strong, loving messages and teachings guide me, whether I like it or not, whether I’m aware of it or not, always beckoning me to live up to my capability, morals and values. Thank Gd, I can never escape his wondrous influence, and quite the opposite — I find myself becoming more and more like Dad as time moves on.
But all are not as fortunate as some. As I look around, I see a world lost with no fathers. And like most people who are lost, the real tragedy is that they know not what they are missing. They build world-views that exclude and vilify that which they never experienced, not realizing that it is because they were denied the very thing they are fighting against, that they find themselves fighting in the first place. They tear-down that which fathers built up, all the while screaming and kicking for some guidance and strength — a father to love and guide them.
There is no culture war going on. There is a value war going on. And it is going on in all of us — Men, Women, Americans, Immigrants, Black, White and everything in between. Are we prepared to honor, respect, and recognize our need for fathers? Are those of us who accept that task willing to take on that awesome responsibility? If not, are we willing to support those who do? Are we willing to fight for it? And ultimately, if possible, are we willing to be one?
Values begin at home, lovingly and powerfully given by a mother and father who treat each other with respect and honor. The biggest protest, demonstration, message we can give our youth and ourselves is to bring back the father. Honor him, respect him, love him, and acknowledge him. In turn, he will guide, teach, elevate and build. He will create the world in his image — strong, honest, powerful, forgiving, and fair. He will bring back exactly what we are so desperately missing, what we are really fighting for, and ultimately dry our tears.