A father can be known as many things such as a deadbeat, a sperm donor, sole provider, protector, man of the house, community leader or even a father to the fatherless.
Now I know it may be sort of cliché, but for most of my life I was reared in a single-parent household by my mother and grandmother, along with my three younger sisters. Although my mother and grandmother did their best to rear a respectable young man, they needed help, which is why I was fortunate to acquire father figures.
Father figures are men who father children that do not belong to them but see the need of a male presence in their life and therefore assert themselves accordingly. A father figure can be gained through a relative such as an uncle, older cousin or brother, also extended family such as a church member and family friends.
It is through father figures that young boys are taught to be leading young men and young girls to be bright young ladies. Better yet, young people are taught how to be the next leaders in their communities, in school, and in their extracurricular activities. From a male’s perspective, young men learn how to be a jack of all trades.
These lessons may consist of knowing how to be a handyman, how to do yard work, how to cook for yourself (which is a plus when dating) and lessons as simple as changing a tire. Whatever the lesson, father figures all around can teach the simplest, but most important lessons that young men need to know.
In addition, another benefit to having a father figure is that you do not necessarily have to limit how many you can have. Although some may come and go as one grows older, every one of them serves their purpose in your life for that specific time. Also, because one may have more than one father figure, that person has the chance to be exposed to multiple personalities and ideologies.
Children can learn a lesson more than once and from different perspectives. The beauty of it all is that young people discover their own individuality in the process.
Happy Father’s Day to you and yours.
Ibraheem Farmer is a junior visual and performing arts major from Las Vegas.