My father was a great teacher and I will honor him by remembering the lessons in life that he imparted to me; one of those lessons being that we should celebrate the moment every day and not on just one particular day. I mean, is my father only important on the third Sunday in June?
As most of you know…I oppose traditions. Why? For the most part, traditions are the products of a person’s personal desires and wants. Generally, traditions have a unique way of bending the truth or worse, fabricating it. Such are especially prevalent in religions.
Do you even know how Father’s Day came into being? Most people have not a clue as to the origin of this so-called holiday.
On June 19, 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her father, a civil war veteran and a single parent, who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them.
Initially, she suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, to be the day, but the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons. The celebration was deferred to the third Sunday. So much for the following the Scriptures which tell us to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” I mean, from the very beginning this holiday started off on the wrong foot. But still, several local ministers accepted the idea, and on June 19, 1910, the first Father’s Day, sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city.
A few years later, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it faded into relative obscurity, even in Spokane. In the 1930s, Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level.
And how did she accomplish this task? She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional gift for fathers. By 1938, she had the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the holiday’s commercial promotion.
And just like my father had taught me so many years ago…it’s all about money! Just another tradition of men to serve their own personal purpose (Read money here) and in reality…it cheapens the honor and respect we should show to our parents every day; not just on one particular day that the retail industry promotes. My father deserves more than a greeting card, a dinner, a cake, a necktie or some other male-oriented token only on the third Sunday of June.
OK…I am a father, and grandfather, too and I know that the commercialization of particular calendar days may have an effect on their thinking in regards to holidays. To my lovely and wonderful children I say, “Don’t worry, be happy, it’s just another day on the calendar of life.” “Please don’t allow the retailers to place a ‘guilt trip’ on your psyche.” If they want to say to me, “Happy Father’s Day”, then I will respond in kind. Honestly, the best Father’s Day gift I could receive from my children is knowing they are healthy, gainfully employed and productive citizens.
I will enjoy the day remembering my father. He was the man who taught those things that have helped to sustain me throughout my life. Was he perfect? No, but neither am I and neither are you. There is not a day that passes that I don’t think about my father. I don’t need a calendar day to honor him.