He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland
Throughout my life it was a surprise to me when I would meet girls/women who were so deeply bonded with their mothers. They always made me feel separate, that there was a “female club” of which I was not a member. I came to realize the difference between them and me was that I was part of another “club” ~ a group of women who were “Father’s Daughters.”
In the psyche of familial evolution, Father’s Daughters see the world in terms of ideologies more historically linked to men. Fathers raised their daughters to be strong, capable and independent people. They taught them that the world is full of infinite possibilities and that they were entitled to partake of any of those possibilities. In the 21st century, (following an evolving definition of the role of women in the family, society and the world) the group known as “Father’s Daughters,” is becoming a historical marker in the sociological evolution of society.
As far back into childhood as I can remember, I wanted to model my life after my father. He was a quiet man, but as Kelland states in the above quote, he didn’t need to speak to teach.
The top 10 Reason’s he improved my life:
- “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
- In the time before the Civil Rights movement and the term “racial equality” was a common part of vocabulary, his best friend was of a different race, he was the only “white brother” in his Christian Brotherhood Breakfast group and he spoke out against injustice at a time when it wasn’t acceptable to do so
- He exhibited and honored the integrity of all peoples
- He believed that education must include the “soft” subjects: art, music, great writing, philosophy, psychology, and to use “mistakes” as lessons
- He believed that success in work (be it professional, personal or recreational) is to “do your homework” and give your all to being the best you can be at every stage of development
- He modeled the Shaker phrase, “Hands to Work, Hearts to God”
- He was creative, believing that doing only what was expected or “usual” wasn’t worth the effort ~ that we needed to make the investment in making each task our own
- He spent his life looking outside of himself to “pay it forward” in his community and society
- He held his children to high standards of behavior, but knew when to scold and when to hug
- He worked hard and with a passion, but he also knew when it was more important to turn off the motor to idle in a boat with a fishing pole or sitting silently waiting for what Henri Cartier Bresson called the decisive moment when all elements move into optimal space
It will be ten years in November since I lost my father. While I still miss him desperately, I am grateful for the blessing of having him as my father, my teacher, and my mentor. I am grateful that with every off-the-wall, out-of-the-box idea or plan I came up with he supported my right to explore that idea or plan and stood beside me for gentle support during it’s evolution… if he felt it was really out of line, I would get suggestions of approaches I might try also. (That being said, if I wanted to ride my tricycle out into traffic I would get more than gentle suggestions!)
Happy Father’s Day Pop!