Anyone can plant a seed, but can they look after it and see it becoming a gloriously beautiful oak tree?
I was highly impressed by an article I read from News24:
Pathetic state of black fathers by Khaya Dlanga http://www.news24.com/Columnists/Khaya-Dlanga/Pathetic-state-of-black-fathers-20100608
It occurred to me as I was reading through the comments, that most people it touched were those who’ve had the experience either of an absent father in their lives or an absent father to their own children. Of course an article like this one would charge hurt emotions and awaken the feelings of abandonment and perhaps even lack of love from the absent parent which, in most cases, was the father.
I live in a country whose majority population is black. The majority of the poor is black and the very same majority being victims of a sad past that did everything to make a black man feel worthless. One might then feel this is a reasonable excuse for this ‘cycle’ amongst this population. I however, fail to accept it. I also know of many poor families that have stuck together and the father who may have raised his children from a truck driver’s, gardener’s, street vendor’s wages to now being a proud father of an engineer, highly paid chartered accountant, journalists, business man and so forth and the family has grown stronger as they stuck together through the hard times. Speak to the many young and upcoming black professionals and you’ll know how true this is. These fathers were also victims of an oppressed past. And from my recent exposure to the other African countries, fathers from these countries, still know their responsibilities. Yes, there are those that have gone by the wayside, but many still uphold strong family values. These are the same people who come from hectic wars and political turmoil . They too have an oppressive history to tell, they’ve been made to feel worthless by colonialism, wars, corrupt political leaders and serious poverty, but their true African spirit of strong families, good fathers and good values have remained intact.
So my question is, are weak, irresponsible men consequential evidence of the past, poverty or blackness or is it purely poor choices made by their weak characters that they cannot face up to their own responsibilities?
Whatever the answers are, these factors were certainly no excuse for my own sperm donor, who was not only an academic intellect, but also a businessman, raised in a good home of both parents. Poverty or lack of education, or even a bad upbringing can certainly be ruled out in this case and with my little memory of my 2nd year biochemistry, there was nowhere in genetic studies that showed that the melanin gene found in the dermal tissue cells was responsible for a human species to abandon her/her young. In fact calling a such a man a dog is inappropriate because even dogs take care of their young.I used to have evil fantasies of me really making it big in this world and each time I had a “thank you” speech to make, I’d ensure he understood that I’d have made it through this life without him and hoped it’d hurt him deep inside everyday till the end of his days.Fortunately for him, he didn’t live long enough to experience my howling furnace of wrath. I was fortunate enough to recognise the voice of God as he offered his presence as Father of my life and took me through those feelings of anger, the path of forgiveness and the ongoing journey of healing.
I call it an ongoing journey as I realise how it has affected my feelings towards having a family. It’s so important to me to ensure that I have a strong partner in my life with whom I can share the same values on life. I made a promise to my unborn twin boys ( I’m so certain I’m having twin babies 🙂 ) and last born daughter that I’d chose a good man to father them. This is very important to me and to my children. I recognise my responsibility to ensure that they never feel a lack of love from any one parent. Children deserve to feel loved right through their upbringing. This might not make them perfect adults, but I’d like to ensure that they been given as much life opportunities as possible, leaving nothing to blame their own failures on.
It’s sad to think that this phenomenon has become so normalised that even as women we almost expect it will happen. We speak about wanting to have babies without thinking whether the baby wants to have a father. This might sound harsh as no one wants to have a fatherless child, but somehow I don’t think we think of this during the fun times with a man we know too well would not qualify as a father of our future children. I’ve been blessed, true. I’d been able to attract a good man in my life, one I always was confident enough that even if we no longer were together, he would never fail his children. Women are instinctive, they can tell these things if only we listen closely to our inner selves. As women raised in such homes I think it is imperative that we see the importance of who we choose to be our partners and fathers to our children. Granted, LOVE IS BLIND and even if it is not, things certainly do change. However, rather attract men who are responsible and whose values are aligned with yours. Although the whole package is absolutely heaven, it’s not always there, but when it comes to conception, rather be with someone who you know will take care of his child even if in the end there’s no love between the two of you. Believe me these wonderful men do exist out there. I also believe as women, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the man you allow between your sheets is strong enough of a man to take care of an unplanned pregnancy. The truth is, if you are with someone for the fun of it, know that they are probably the same people who have fun and run. I know this is not full proof, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
No one is perfect. I know. But we do have a responsibility to our own children.
P.S I accept that this is not exclusive to SA, but I speak from that point of view for I know little of others.