Your Life is Your Words of Wisdom

“A father acts on behalf of his children by working, providing, intervening, struggling, and suffering for them. … It is not the isolated individual but the responsible person who is the proper agent to be considered in ethical reflection.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about my father a lot. Perhaps it just comes with a certain age. I’m now just a few years older than he was when I entered this world. At a certain point, you can look back over the miles of life you’ve traversed and see more clearly how your life has been influenced by others.
My father’s words of wisdom were a life lived by example. As a boy, it was simply a fact of life to see my dad work hard and never complain. Now, I can look back and see what a special unique quality that was, and I can see how that example imprinted itself on me. How seeds were planted unbeknownst, and how through the years they’ve taken root to grow some of those same qualities in me. And though I sometimes in the quiet moments feel I don’t quite measure up, I have not ceased in striving to be a better man.

Sometimes I feel as though I am living in the shadow of my father’s example of hard-workingness. I doubt I am the lone son who feels this. I can feel as though I should be more. And then I wonder, what were the struggles with which he dealt? What were the fears with which he grappled? What does every man who shoulders the responsibility of fatherhood feel from time to time? What challenges does every man face who would strive to achieve more and provide for those whom he loves?
In the swelter of New Jersey summers and the bitter cold of winter, I watched my father remain dedicated and faithful, doing his job, and doing it well. Learning how to work on cars and build things, I learned more than manual skills. I learned about doing things well and the value of doing something with your own two hands. Through his love for and devotion to my mother, I learned much about faithfulness.
(photo by my talented friend Savannah)

Dad, happy Father’s Day. Your life has helped make me the man I am today. In a world of so many men who can create a child but neglect the role of father, you stand out and I am proud to call you my father.
Presented as proof that dads were hipsters before hipsters.