To father, with loveViews — By Neha Pradhan on June 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
- William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice (Lancelot at II, ii)
To err is human, rightly said, as most of our closest relationships end with the ‘er’s be it a mother, a brother, a sister or a father. Our basic unit as a group is our family which is full of these ers and errs! And of course, the closest ‘er’ for a girl is her father! So, why this sudden err talk? I’m no pastor to ask you for a confession but its Father’s Day and if you have any confessions to make to your dad, go ahead (though remember he is still your father…wink).
Speaking about this tradition, let me take you back in time, not too back, it was in the 20th century that as a competition for the mothers, some group of people came together maybe men, who had a heated discussion as to why their masculine brethren who have children are being neglected? So, they came up with an amazing idea to have the third Sunday of every June as the Father’s Day! Well, this is the crap we circulate, when someone asks us the reason behind a Father’s Day. The real story dates back to 1910 to Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, a Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honouring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors hadn’t enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
So, Father’s Day was a modern history’s creation and it continues to be so even today. However, what brings me to this detailed story is that ‘expression’ is important no matter in what form, thought or way it comes! The rift between a parent and a child has existed always and specially between a father and a child because biologically the father is meant to protect the child and a mother to nurture the child. As youth we may not be as expressive and as open to our fathers as much we are to our mothers. For most whenever it comes to getting a task done, we go to our mothers as we believe she has a better influence or the upper hand on our fathers. However, for some their father have been the ones to camouflage their errs! Sigmund Freud puts it, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”
So getting up and thanking your father for his direct or indirect approvals doesn’t harm because even if we have 365 days to say a ‘thank you’, you know you have made it special for your father with this one! Finally, all what your dad does can be summed up in one of Franz Kafka’s letters addressed to his father,
You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. (…) In any case, we were so different and in our difference so dangerous to each other that if anyone had tried to calculate in advance how I, the slowly developing child, and you, the full-grown man, would behave toward one another, he could have assumed that you would simply trample me underfoot so that nothing was left of me. Well, that did not happen. (…) For all that, I am sure I was also obstinate, as children are. I am sure that Mother spoilt me too, but I cannot believe that I was particularly difficult to handle, I cannot believe that you, by directing a friendly word my way, by quietly taking my hand or by giving me a kind look, could not have got everything you wanted from me. And you are fundamentally a kind and tender person (what follows does not contradict that, after all it refers only to how I saw you as a child) but not every child has the tenacity and fearlessness to search until he finds the kindness within. You, Father, are only capable of treating a child with the same means by which you were moulded, with vigour, noise and fits of rage, and in my case you found these means especially appropriate because you wanted to bring me up to be a strong, courageous boy.”