Saturday, June 16, 2012

The results are in, Father's day survey.

 I did a quick informal survey , asking 20 elderly residents 3 questions. Did you have a good father? What made your father good? If you could say something to your father today, what would you say?

Question #1 " Did you have a good father?" The answer was unanimous: "Yes, my father was good." 

 Perplexing to me, there was no whining and complaining about whether their father's gave them enough quality time, whether he was sensitive to all their feelings, whether he ever hurt their pride in an argument or didn't support them in a decision they made. They didn't cry about whether or not he gave them money for college or hobbies or took them to Disney World. They didn't complain about how their father didn't give them the opportunity to succeed at something or enhance some talent they had by sending them to a special camp or school. NO complaining that he didn't buy them a car or help them buy their first home or pay off their college loan. They didn't tell me that their father was unfaithful to their mother or that he spanked them too hard or too often. The answer was simply "yes". I searched for negativity and boo hoos, probed a bit, trying to get a different answer , find some ill will, but no luck. No resentful judgemental feelings or statements. The answer was simply "yes'.

My humble unprofessional interpretation of this all agreed result is this:  Fathers are certainly not always good but by the time you have lived a long life, most likely been a parent and grand parent yourself , made your own many mistakes along the way and grown to an age where you can look back on it all, you will probably believe your father was good. How can this relate to those of us who aren't that old yet? (Concentrate on your father's good points and for God's sake, get off your high horse and give the guy a break!)

Question #2. "What made your father good?"

Again the answers to this question were also all very similar. "He worked hard!"

Darlene smiled as she remembered,"My dad was a fireman all his life , he worked long hard hours and when he wasn't doing that, he did lots of other odd jobs to support us."
Tears welded up in Bills eyes as he answered, "My father worked long hard hours in the field on our farm, never giving himself a day off but Sunday for Church."

In their time, men were expected to work hard and do whatever they needed to do to support their families. Mother's stayed home and Father's worked. Even though this may have changed a bit, even in 2012, most people would appreciate a hard workin man who did whatever was needed to put some food on the table. 

The other most common answer was ""He was strict, but loving and he disciplined us when we needed it." Elderly people look back on their childhood experiences and  appreciate the times when  their Dad handed out some discipline and yes, most of them meant , they were spanked .

Question #3 ? If you could say something to your father today, what would you say?  20 out of 20 polled.

"Thank You."

Happy Father's Day.

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