I have been scrolling through my picture gallery for the past week or two in search of photos I have taken with my dad. I can find only one. Maybe… he’s just not a photo-maniac like I am. Maybe… some of us grew up inseparably attached to the apron strings of our mothers.
Growing up with a father like mine was fun. They say a picture tells a thousand words. In a home like ours, a stern look told those thousand words. Chai! A stern look from him meant “Stop!” A stern look from him meant “We will talk about this tonight… of course with lashes!”
I have a father who sacrificed everything possible, even his dreams, to make ours possible. I have a good father who didn’t interfere in one’s choice of career… as long as they were happy. I have a father whose spanks kept me in check… even in his absence.
Until I became a man on my own, I never knew having a good father was ironically a privilege. I never knew being proud to call another a father was such an achievement. It never occurred to me that as long as fathers were concerned, the bad lot had given fatherhood such a bad name!
Well… there are bad fathers… and equally good ones. There’s a father who would spend his all on wants instead of needs, and there’s yet another who would passionately spend on needs now… wants later.
Before you tag all fathers as not worth celebrating, remember that father who toils from dawn to dusk to keep the family surviving. Before you gloss over Father’s Day, remember all those fathers who have made their homes a luxury for their children… in spite of their penury. Wait. Don’t label all fathers as irresponsible yet, when you have no idea about the unbearable sacrifice others have made to place the feet of their children on higher grounds.
It is possible to be a good father. It is humanly possible to be a model to your children. Bearing children is as important as raising them up to be models in society.
You are mistreating your children? Well… how you treat your children when they are young (and you are old) is exactly how they will treat you when they are old… and you are older. Call it karma! If you ever want to have a great future, invest in your children! Children are like seeds. We invest into them today to reap their harvest tomorrow.
Why on earth would you spend on your selfish wants when your family is deprived of its needs? Family is priority! Your children’s future is priority. If you don’t know your priorities, your needs become wants… and your wants… your needs. If you don’t know your priorities, you spend on vanity… instead of your family!
Being a good father is not rocket science. Raising your children to be morally upright in this depraved world requires effort but not one beyond you. Your family is your responsibility.
You don’t take your family for granted because your father did same to you. Fatherhood is responsibility… not vengeance. You don’t vent your anger on your family because a father did same to you. An unpleasant history is not an excuse to put your family in misery. Don’t mess up your future because of your past! Your children are your future.
Before you sacrifice your children’s needs for your wants today, think. Tomorrow, they definitely may sacrifice your needs for their wants, too. Before you give an excuse for not making time for your family today, ponder. Tomorrow, they may make that excuse for not making time for you.
Times change. People grow. Your children will grow, too. You will also grow older. Your past will come haunting after you when you have no strength to earn enough. Karma will come strangling you when your friends and concubines desert you and old age catches up with you. When all is said and done, the only people that will remain… will be that son. The only women that will remain may be that wife or daughter.
What if you never had time to inculcate morality into that family? What if you chased after money all your life? What if your children were such who never had a good father? What if you invested all your wealth into aphrodisiacs and concoctions of alcoholic beverages? Treat your family today how you wanted to be treated tomorrow. Treat them right today if you don’t want to be left tomorrow.
It shouldn’t be a privilege to be a good father. It should be a responsibility! A responsibility for tomorrow’s sake. A responsibility for your own sake. No matter how whoever treated you, think about your tomorrow before you mistreat your family today because karma would always have its way.
What if I never had a good father? I may never have written this. I may have wasted my youth. I may have been that street boy out there whose father may someday have no future!
Thank God for our fathers. Thank you Mr. F. B. Ansah for being a good father. Another big one to Pastor Martin Idan-Sam. Happy Father’s Day to all our hero fathers out there. You are the reason we are who we are today.
The writer is the Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, a writing company in Accra.
By: Kwabena Ansah