First, I’d say Happy Father’s Day.
Now, on to the purpose of the post.
And I’m sure you’re probably wondering what in the world this blog about “dreams” and “vision”, and all that good stuff have to do with Father’s Day…Well, if you’d give me a few moment of your time, I’ll go ahead and tell you how.
Crucial to any kind of vision is building bridges to help you get to your destination…as opposed to burning said bridges. These bridges refer to our relationships in day to day lives. Build a sub par bridge, and the consequences are all too glaring. Therefore the strength of those bridges is highly important.
The most basic of relationship is the familial kind, it’s the first form of relationship one is introduced to when when opens one’s eyes to the world. It also has the capacity to determine how the course of one’s life will be. It’s pretty much very important, and without a shadow of doubt, the importance of the Father’s role in this familial setting cannot be overemphasized. Statistics will show you the devastating effects that the absence of this role in any family have on the society at large.
At LeaderShape, the first thing we learned about, on Day 1 was building community. This involved deciding what you’re going to do to get along with these people you haven’t met before in your life…who might I say, you’re stuck with for the rest of the week, in some obscure woods. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Well not so much, because then you realize that there are people who are different from you; in their approach to life, their values, their backgrounds, etc (What a shocker! Who knew, right?), and you had to learn how to not step on anyone’s toes…at least not intentionally!
This gave us, I believe an opportunity to share, and to accept and value the beauty and strength in diversity; that if we were all the same, we’d be better off as robots. However, this involved being open and willing to find similarity even in the midst of diversity…we’re human…at the very core at least! This allowed us to be vulnerable, to tell our individual stories, which I must admit was pretty tough. I mean, you’re sharing your life with strangers who you’re meeting for the first time! Awkward!
But no, really, this vulnerability, over the next few days we learned is a quality a leader (an effective one anyways) just has to possess. It is very needed. However interesting is the fact that most people see it as a sign of weakness… What was amazing about this experience was that I saw people who were rigid as a rock, and who saw crying as a weakness, open up and let the tears flow as they told their stories. It was amazing!
Now about Father’s Day. I have a lot of stories to tell really. I’ll admit that the bridge, which I was talking about earlier, between myself and my Dad is not that strong! And the little strength it had has over the years been weakened due to a boat load of factors, one of which is resentment. I have a lot of things I don’t want to forgive him for. It’s not like my Dad wasn’t present, he was there…but really I’m just like that was about it. At a point, I referred to him as figure-head father, who is just taking up the role because my real father wasn’t around…
Fast forward, and now I can see where he’s coming from with the help of my Mom who made me realize that a lot of his approach to life can be retraced back to how he himself was raised. That new understanding made me appreciate things I never did. My Dad I would say definitely didn’t get the chance to fully experience childhood…He was robbed of that due to the amount of responsibility he had while growing up; sending himself and his siblings to school, having to take care of them due to the fact that he was raised by parents who did not even get the chance at a decent education. The biography from my grandfather’s obituary says this word for word:
He could not complete his primary education because he was withdrawn from school by his father so that he could help him in the farm.
Now something I can definitely appreciate is his hard-work, and sacrifice. He made something out of himself, became a Psychiatric Nurse, and in an attempt at a chance for better opportunities in the United States, left all of that! Now would I have wished that he did not, absolutely…but if nothing else, for that I respect him. He made an attempt!
And if anything, I’m actually grateful I have a Dad!
This post has been in the draft folder since morning, and I was about to edit this to finally post it, but my Dad and I started having a conversation just now about how in the Northern part of Nigeria, if the child is a son, they are left to fend for themselves from a very young age…but if a female, they are taken care of in hopes to marry them off (and receive dowry) at as young as the age of eight! The mothers pretty much are responsible for taking care of their children, and the father who usually has more than four to five wives doesn’t feel any sense of obligation. I am nothing but grateful!
But anyways, present day: June 17, 2012, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve grown a lot…and all those crap that has built up over the years on this bridge can now be removed, and dumped where they belong…in the incinerator! It actually clears the space in other for one to journey to one’s destination…with ease too. From the book, The Art of Possibility, accompanied with the lesson I’d learned about being willing to be vulnerable (I didn’t mind being “soft”), I learned about the technique called “giving an A.” I talked about it here —->
And that is exactly what I decided to implement for Father’s Day, as a gift to my Dad.
And the interesting thing was that I actually did say the words: I LOVE YOU to my Dad, for the first time ever! It’s interesting because the culture I grew up in is the sort where words like those are not vocalized. Love is to be expressed through deeds as opposed to mere words, I admit, but sometimes saying those words does make a huge difference. By the way, my Dad responded with a Thank you …maybe the next time I say I LOVE YOU DAD, I would hear as a response, I LOVE YOU TOO, SON?
One cannot help but dream!
Just because I love to tie whatever I have to say to music, and plus the fact that I learned about love today at church… I’ll share below this awesome song that was recommended to me by an awesome friend of mine: