Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Challenge is Made: What Do I Do Now?

For those who don't know, Aaron from fatherfolk.com recently posted a letter on the site entitled "And Open Letter to the Dad Revolution". Click on the link to read the letter in its entirety before moving on with this response. It is important to read it all the way through and see what the letter was all about to begin with. There is also a good response to this written by James over at SAHD in Portland, which I think you should also read. A great take on what has been said as well. 

Read them?

Read them all the way through?

Okay, we can move on then. My take on the letter:

First off, let me say, that I deeply respect the opinions of others, and I am a big fan of what goes on over at fatherfolk.com ... I read them daily and hopefully will be meeting with a few folks this month. And I deeply respect the ideology behind the challenge that was made in the letter.

I do, however, disagree that writing about what we do is "the new just showing up". There are millions upon millions of dads who do not show up at all, and many of whom probably can't even tell you their children's middle names.  The ratio of uninvolved dads to engaged, knowledgeable dads is still way off the charts, though the trend towards more dads becoming involved with their children is becoming very apparent. Most of the bloggers I know, those at Dad Revolution, and all around the online dadosphere are engaged dads. Writing about what we do  and our experiences is just our medium for sharing with others. The return of this, of course, is a great network of dads who support each other, listen to each other's experiences and learn from each other as well all are along for the ride of parenting.

I agree with Aaron, and many other dads, that being "good enough" is NOT good enough. Not for this guy anyway. I don't want my wife to be able to say "oh well he is good enough as a dad". I want to be known as a great dad, an involved dad, a dad who knows his children and is capable of raising them and being the dad that they need. It is a struggle, yes, but it IS possible to be more than "good enough". 

The term "revolutionary" means so many things to so many people. Though, my personal belief as the term relates to being a member of Dad Revolution, is not that of trying to change the world on a greater scale so it is better when my children grow up, but something on a smaller scale. Like, my children smaller. The "Dad Revolution", to me, is not about making a statement about the grander social scale, but playing on the level of dads everywhere. I do not think it is possible to change the world as it is, but it IS possible for us to raise our children, as the future of the world, to be more understanding, to look for similarities between them and others, not the differences. I believe if we want to see the world change, then the change begins with us, and how we raise our children.

I accept the challenge from  Aaron on this level: As a member of Dad Revolution, and just a dad in general, I will do more to show other dads what I believe it to mean to be an involved parent. I will be more proactive in encouraging and challenging other dads to become more engaged with their children, and more active in their roles as parents. We can teach our children equality, we can teach them to love, to be gentle, and to be kind. We can help other dads who seek to be the best dad they can be in understanding that as the future or the world, the way we raise our children, and who we raise our children to be, will be what the world is in the future.

How do you change a whole world full of dads? I have no clue. I know how I can change myself, and share that change with other dads, and I will continue to try and encourage other dads to be more than "good enough" and to be the best dad they can be. I will try to live a life that is in accord with what I write, and what I believe in, as "walking the walk" is more important than "talking the talk". Anyone can say anything, but we are called to do more than just talk!

Aaron, thank you for the spirit of challenge, and for pointing out to us that no, being good enough is not good enough, and that we are in positions, as dads, to directly influence the future of this world, and the way that dads the world over perceive their roles. Surely this will be something I think on a little bit more each day, and perhaps a good topic of conversation when we meet. I accept the challenge to be more than just one who writes about experience, but one who encourages and engages with others, so that we may raise the future of this world to be a bright future, and not the same world we grew up into. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your thoughts!