A father is not a word, or a label. Not a noun, a thing, or an object. A father is not dismissed, or easily missed. Nor dispensable or defeatable. A father is not biologically created, nor biologically creates. He comes not into being from force, but from love strongly desired. It is not his power over others that sustains him, but rather his power over himself. Control is the power that keeps him steadfast, rather than lord over others. His strength does not intimidate others, but keeps his love focused. His love is for himself, as much as it is for others; for it is not a love that desires and craves, but rather one that nurtures and cares.

A father is more than a physical presence, for his mind, his heart, and his spirit are dedicated to the ones who look up to him. His dedication inspires not dread and loathing, but rather respect and admiration. A father’s dreams are not realized through his children. Instead his dreams are the fertile soil from which his children’s dreams as flowers lovingly unfold. A father is not fulfilled by his children’s competitive wins, but rather when his children are true to themselves and their own dreams.

A father is not the bedrock that crushes his children, but rather that which supports them; upon which they stand firm and strive to realize their own spirits. For like the mighty oak that achieves grandeur from the potential contained in its own seed, likewise grows the child whose own potential unfolds from the caring and patient hands of the father.

A father is a dancer, and models with his partner and for his children the continuous dance of give and take, respect and be respected, love and be loved, nurture and be nurtured. Neither to dominate or be dominated, manipulate or be manipulated; neither to violate or be violated, or to harm or be harmed. Let his dance be in the garden, that the joy in his feet may till the soil with welcome gladness. For he whose flowers are admired is fulfilled.

Are you a father or a word?


A Struggle to Love [p. 188]

© 2012 William M. Kaufman, Ph.D.