We may have found a cure for most evils;
but we have found no remedy for the worst of them all,
the apathy of human beings.
The above quote is from Helen Keller, which makes it all the more pertinent. Helen Keller was both deaf and blind, but somehow broke through her massive impediments in communication.
Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was a prolific author who was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. She was an early advocate for women’s suffrage when feminism had not yet been taken over by Marxist man-haters.
Helen Keller achieved so much despite being unable to hear or see. Women such as Helen Keller give my wife and me hope and encouragement as we struggle to inspire dads to be the best they can be for their children.
Dads4Kids has a vision to promote ‘excellence in fathering’ as the new ‘norm’ for Australian dads.
Our goal is simple: every child thinks that they have the best father in the world. Why not endeavour to live up to your child’s expectations? Sure, you will fail, but why not fail trying?
As Franklin T. Roosevelt once said,
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checked with failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat”.
Almost a million Australian children will go to bed in a home tonight where Dad is not in the home. Millions more will go to sleep in a home where Dad is home but has checked out long ago; the lights are on, but no-one is home.
It is my belief, and that of many who understand the data from social science figures, that fatherlessness is the single biggest problem our nation faces. All the other problems seem bigger: increasing levels of drug addiction, sex addiction, alcohol addiction, criminal behaviour, juvenile delinquency, family breakdown, poverty, child sex abuse, child physical abuse, mental health problems — and yet almost all of these problems have their roots in fatherlessness, or the father wound.
Most if not all of these issues can be traced back to one and the same thing — the absence of a committed, involved, responsible, protective and loving father.
So, we know the problems and the answer, but what is the single biggest obstacle we as men face trying to solve the problem? One word — apathy! It is not the government, it’s not the ‘system’, it’s not the feminists, it’s not the media (although they sure don’t help), it’s not society (though it’s really in a bad way), it’s not our neighbours, it’s not our family, it’s not our wife and it’s not our children.
Sorry to tell you folks, but it’s US. As a famous man once said,
“I have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.”
As Jimmy Buffet said with his wry sense of humour,
“Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don’t know, and I don’t care.”
So, what IS the answer in our struggle to turn the tide of fatherlessness that is afflicting our nation?
Dr Robert Lewis, founder of Men’s Fraternity, helped launch the authentic manhood movement. Stu Weber, in the forward to one of Dr Robert Lewis’s books, Raising a Modern Day Knight, writes,
“Our culture is in deep trouble, and at the heart of its trouble is its loss of a vision for manhood. If it’s difficult for you and me as adult males to maintain our masculine balance in this gender-neutral culture, imagine what it must be like for our sons, who are growing up in an increasingly feminised world.”
Dr Robert Lewis said,
“A real man is one who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and expects the greater reward, God’s reward.”
Dr Robert Lewis is right. It is my belief that all men have a passivity gene somewhere tucked away in our DNA molecule.
Mark Gungor, who established the curriculum for Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, makes light of it in his video clip Men’s Brain, Women’s Brain. It is easy to laugh at the problem of passivity, which is the root cause of our apathy as men, but if we don’t get rid of this molecule of apathy resident in our male DNA, it will kill us.
Dan Millman said,
“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt and fear.”
Arnold J Toynbee, one of the world’s most famous historians, said,
“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite plan for carrying that idea into practice.”
So where am I going with all this?
I am trying to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and set yourself to achieve extraordinary results for your children; to become the Dad your children deserve.
To do this you have to have a plan, and you must make it happen. One more thing, and it is just my opinion: you have to get help from the ‘Big Fella Upstairs’, as Ian Watson called Him.
Follow Toynbee’s words:
Get an idea, make sure it’s a high one.
Formulate a plan.
Put your plan into practice.
Yours for having a plan,
PS: We are using this opportunity to let you know to mark the date in your diary for the Men’s Leadership Summit to be held on the 16-18 July 2021 at Stanwell Tops near Sydney NSW. Details available in the coming weeks!
This is something to plan for now!
[Photo by Danielle MacInnes