June 19, 2022
For those of us who didn’t win the dad lottery, Fathers’ Day can be as difficult as many other family holidays. Often, I’ll stay off social media all together because seeing how many people actually have decent fathers reminds me of how unfortunate I am in this area. While I am genuinely happy for anyone who has paternal love and affection in their lives, it only makes the void in my life that much more apparent.
On this day, I hope everyone remembers that a father’s love is not automatic. While it should not have to be earned, there are some men who are simply incapable of feeling duty, responsibility and love for their children.
In my father’s case, he was the victim of generational trauma. His father was an abusive alcoholic, so my father grew up to be an abusive alcoholic. He did not have the insight or incentive to break free from his environment.
Luckily, I did. While I can’t say I escaped without any damage, at least I learned not to hurt others because I am in pain. That is the important lesson my father taught me, whether he meant to or not.
As I write my memoirs, I’ve been reflecting on what saved me from the fate of my father. From the time I can remember, I operated on reason and logic. It was a buffer to my father’s rage and anger. The opposite intended to cancel him out. My own attempt at cancel culture.
Reason and logic are ancient philosophies advanced by the stoics. From these original insights, all other belief systems evolved over time. So, was I born with an ancient soul? Perhaps. Or, is logic just wired into my brain? I don’t know. I only know that stoicism and mindfulness saved my sanity.
In a sense, my fathers are Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Zeno, Epictetus, Aurelius, Seneca, Descartes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Thoreau and Emerson, just to cite a few. From these men, I learned the importance of wisdom, courage, justice and reason. Today, I celebrate them.