REFLECTIONS : FATHER ' S DAY AUTHOR Teresita Bacani-Oropilla , MD
What a great day to honor fathers ! It coincides with the tentative opening up of the US to normal socialization , after an excruciating year of pain and losses due to the coronavirus pandemic . For many , it marks the end of a time when loved ones could not be together . For others , it means having been exposed to each other more intimately than usual and relearning each other ’ s personalities , needs and assets all over again . Thus , in order to succeed as families in the future , some changes have to be made .
In previous generations , hierarchy was the established norm . The idea of a “ father ” meant commitment , leadership , provider and protector for his loved ones . He was to be dependable and could be relied upon . With these duties and prerogatives came reciprocal trust , loyalty and obedience to the rules established .
It seems as the years roll by that the succeeding generations are gradually ending such customs , liberating themselves from such obeisance , and reinforced by others of the same mind , follow the beat of their own drums .
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Is it because we allowed our fathers to renege from exalted expectations ? Or , on the other hand , have new ideas convinced the young that going it alone was for their comfort and benefit ? Have they castrated the older dads from the position of authority they held , in the name of equality , freedom of thought and action , that are so prevalent these days ? Do they truly believe that the “ olds ” and their disciplines are no longer relevant ? And do the “ olds ” believe the “ youngs ” are in for a big surprise ?
In the meantime , for those fathers who sired and nurtured these new thinkers , a salute and thanks for raising them . Despite the sacrifices and pitfalls you survived , we wish them well . To paraphrase , “ The apple does not fall far from the tree .” It ’ s also true that , “ Good apples fall from good trees .”
For fathers ’ partners , the mothers , ditto ! Every living thing knows , that even without banners to proclaim them , no one would exist without us . Our place is secure in all hierarchies .
May we then all rise from our past miseries and losses . When we are “ down ,” the only other way to go is “ up !”
Therefore we start anew by wishing a “ blessed and delightful day ” to those who claim and answer to the honored name “ father ,” both old and new !
And may we continue to look forward to a bright future ! Dr . Bacani-Oropilla is a retired pediatrician and child psychiatrist .