As I grow older I find myself facing a lot of conflict. At times I am conflicted myself and at times find myself at odds with myself. I do not want to attribute it to mid life crisis ( by the way how old am I?) and I am not sure whether I have conflict or I am conflicted.
Growing up, we depended totally on our fathers and took ideology and the foundational philosophy from them. Our fathers were the Constituitional Court ( no appeal) and we made all efforts to ensure that our transgressions were never brought to their jurisdiction for fear of verdicts that were beyond appeal.
Our fathers were the providers, protectors and final arbiters in our lives. From them we learnt what to do and what not to do. My father woud always tell me to never drink nor smoke despite his love for Madison and the occassional beer. He would instil a need to find and worship God with others despite him not setting a foot in church voluntarily and him always vouching that his Church was the then Club 700 which used to air on TV every Sunday morning.
Our fathers could spend hours analysing what was going wrong in the country, posit what needs to be done, agree unanimously and then upon discovering that they had no traction to drive the motion, throw up their hands in despair and wait to start another conversation tomorrow.
I grew up in Matabeleland in the early eighties and it was a difficult time. Political loyalties could spell trouble and there were moments where even traditional weapons like knobkerries had to be hidden for fear of being classified as weapons of war. In all this our fathers braved it and never lost sight of the role of fatherhood they had to play. In the process we learnt unwavering loyalty, passionate fanatisicm ( supoorting anything else besides Highlanders Foootbal Club was treason!).
From our fathers we learnt our identity, got directions on how to live life and inherited a legacy that brought us here.
Fast forward many years later and we are now the fathers and I am conflicted on what we are passing on to our children. The dynamics demand that we be more than our fathers but with less resources at hand and more hurdles to pass. Every day brings a new hype challenge that must be overcome and the odds are stcacked against the fathers.
The media is awash with options that work against parenthood, sexuality is flaunted on screen and on the net, the liberal movement is telling our children of rights against being called to order, new waves of religion are being thrown at our chidren and in their conflict we the fathers find ourselves in turmoil.
Fatherhood has never been this difficult but father hood will never be impossible because the risk of defaulting on fatherhood is to give rise to a self torpedoing generation and that is an expense we can not affrd.
Happy Fathers Day my brothers. Quit ye be men !
Happy Fathers Day my brothers. The battle demands that we forego our conflicted issues and create a legacy that will not afflict our chidren.
Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.
Proverbs 4:1-2 ESV