THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Last Friday Tante Barbara Lim turned 79. Next year, as Oom Djaja used to say about those in this age bracket, she would go up to Grade 8. I met Tante Barbara four decades ago—when she was 39. Over the years I have known her, there is something about her that has remained unchanged and I can always count on: She is always truthful. She doesn’t please people; she only pleases the truth.
Today is Father’s Day. It is a day where we, fathers, will take the time to reflect on one simple question: Do we deserve all this festivity? In other words, it’s time for us to face the truth about who we are as fathers. At the end of the day, what matters is not what we think, but rather what our children think about us, fathers.
We all want our children to look up to us and call us, responsible and good fathers. What we usually do to be responsible fathers is we work hard to provide for their needs. And, what we normally do to be good fathers is we give a lot of advices to our children. We somehow think that by working hard and by giving them moral compass, we will have accomplished our parental duty. Sort of!
There is something else, though. You see, to be responsible for our children’s needs is one thing; it’s another thing to be responsible for their failures. What we do when they fail reveals how responsible we are as fathers. To give moral compass to our children is one thing; to be the moral compass is another thing. Telling our children to tell the truth is one thing; telling the truth is another thing.
Father’s Day is a day to face—and to speak—the truth. What kind of a father have we been? To make it more personal, perhaps we should ask this simple question: Do we want a father like we?