Right now, the relationship I presently have with my father is basically non-existent. I don’t believe I have spoken to him this year… and I probably only spoke to him once or twice last year, if I spoke to him at all. Why does the relationship between fathers and sons have to be so tough?
I saw a recent study on CNN which said that 72% of all African-American children are born to single mothers (website). That basically says that 3 of 4 African-American children will be raised in a family where the father is absent, and will ultimately have problems seeking out a male role model. To me that’s just plain astounding! However, 1 out of every 3 children in America live in biological father-absent homes (website); fathers not being parents is not just a cultural problem, this is an American crisis.
The absence of a father’s involvement in his child’s life impacts them in many ways, but most of all financially; and it makes them more prone to teen pregnancy, childhood obesity, drug problems, mental problems, crime… and much more.
I feel that a son’s relationship with his father will ultimately shape their whole life. Some men live/work their whole lives longing to receive their father’s approval. While their are many women who don’t have good relationships with men, because they never received love from their father.
I was listening to a song by U2 – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, and this song is about Bono’s father. If you haven’t heard the song, click on the link and listen to it; it’s a beautiful song. In the paragraph below, Bono explains where the lyrics came from.
‘I sang ‘Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own’ at my father’s funeral. He was a very tough, old boot of a guy, Irish, Dub, north side of Dublin, very cynical about the world and the people in it, you know, but very charming, and funny with it.
‘His whole thing was, ‘Don’t dream – to dream is to be disappointed’. That was really what I think was his advice to me. He didn’t speak it in those words, but that’s what he meant, and of course that’s really a recipe for megalomania isn’t it? I mean I was only ever interested in big ideas, and not so much dreaming but putting dreams into action, doing the things that you have in your head has become an important thing for me.
‘The song ‘Sometimes You Cant Make it On Your Own’, was dedicated to him, and, it’s a portrait of him – he was a great singer, a tenor, a working class Dublin guy who listened to the opera and conducted the stereo with my mother’s knitting needles. He just loved opera, so in the song, I hit one of those big tenor notes that he would have loved so much. I think he would have loved it, I hope so.’
If you love someone, don’t wait until it’s too late to tell them or show them…