Local view: We need more fathers like this oneTake a look at this photo. What do you see? A man and a little boy? A father and son? Sure, but look closer. Take a moment to just look. Don’t think. Don’t try to spot a hidden object. Just look. Let your heart describe this photo. Now, tell me what you see.
By: Robyn Belsvik, for the News Tribune
Take a look at this photo. What do you see? A man and a little boy? A father and son? Sure, but look closer. Take a moment to just look. Don’t think. Don’t try to spot a hidden object. Just look. Let your heart describe this photo. Now, tell me what you see.
I cannot view this picture without a cascade of emotions flooding my soul. My eyes prick with tears. My heart swells up, and an uncommon feeling of pride in my country overwhelms me.
Why? Because this photo embodies two of the most precious resources this country has: fatherhood and brotherhood.
What you see is a man who gives of his time, time he could be spending on himself or on his family; but instead he goes to his local fire hall to learn how to help others, to maybe risk his life for his fellow man. Risk his life. For what purpose? To make money? Nope, he is a volunteer. If anything he probably spends his own money on things needed. For glory? Yeah, right. It is mostly a thankless job. So why would someone do such a deed? I think because it’s the American thing to do: to give of yourself for your neighbor or a stranger in need.
America is always being called on to help out other countries in times of disaster, hardship and war. Not only do we take care of our own; we take of the whole world. Yes, I know there are some of you who say we butt in where we are not wanted, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around why we help countries that in general hate us. But when the chips are down, who does everyone call? The United States of America because they know we are a brave, feisty bunch. They know we’re willing to lay down our lives to help others.
Like this man. This regular Joe. This unsung hero.
Now look at the picture in a different way. Look at the son. He idolizes his daddy. He wants to be everything his daddy is, do everything his daddy does. He will grow up to be the kind of man his father is. What an awesome responsibility that daddy has.
Fatherhood. A job no one is prepared for, a job easily gotten but incredibly hard to do well, a job that will have ramifications for generations to come. Used to be that American men took pride in raising good sons and many, many still do. But a growing number of men are abandoning their job of fatherhood, many before their children are even born. We see generations of fatherless men. Boys (and of course girls, too, but I am focusing on boys here because of the picture) who never got the chance to walk with their daddies, to hold their hands, to look up to for guidance. What these boys have, though, is the propensity to imitate their fathers and be absent from their sons’ lives. How sad is that? And what kind of society will we have in the near future?
So I have told you what I see. What is it you see?
Robyn Belsvik of Culver, Minn., is a full-time caregiver and regular blogger.