Saturday, June 27, 2015

Father's Day ~ How I'm Going to Celebrate It

Written by Farah Mohamed June 2014 ~
 published in The Huffington Post (Ca)

Studies have shown that parents have a strong influence on the way their children understand their roles in society. A study commissioned by Microsoft found that female students are more likely than males to identify 'supportive parents' as an important success factor (50% vs 37%).

Looking back at the choices I have made, I see the influence of my parents ~ their guidance...sense of ethics...and generosity. I see them struggle and what it taught me...and I see their sense of adventure and humour and how it has shaped me.

When you look up the definition of 'unconditional love' in the dictionary, you will see a picture with my mom and dad (when my sister and I were young), so every year when Mother's Day and Father's Day roll around, I think about how to celebrate the two most amazing people I know.
This year, we treated my mom to lunch: a nice piece of jewellery
and her favourite gift...a drawing from my 6-year-old niece.

We hear a great deal about how mothers empower their daughters and rightly so! We don't always hear about how fathers play a role in empowering their daughters. My dad wasn't always around ~ we came to Canada as refugees and my parents had to build a new life, so he worked a lot.

He was also very strict. Now, with a few decades of wisdom setting in, I understand that what he did, he did for us. He got me my first job: at Mother's Restaurants...shredding paper and then crunching numbers; this led to my first real job in an office...with my own desk, phone and set of responsibilities.

Way before I could vote, he taught me to care about politics. This probably had something to do with the way my mom and dad were expelled from Uganda in 1972.

Making me read the Globe and Mail and encouraging us to be engaged in our community led me to volunteer in the Burlington election for Paddy Torsney in 1993. By 1995, I was working on Parliament Hill with Paddy.
How do I thank my dad?
This year, rather than a golf shirt (he doesn't play golf)...
a nice lighter (he no longer smokes ~ yeah, dad!)...
or tickets to the Jays (turns out he has a better source of tickets than I do)...
I am going to do what my parents told me to do
if I ever felt over-the-top emotion.
I am going to 'use my words'
and I invite you to do the same.

On the occasion of Father's Day, G(irls)20 is launching an online campaign to showcase how fathers empower their daughters...and how the daughters feel empowered by their fathers.

What do Richard Branson, Quincy Jones and your dad have in common?
They all have daughters...Happy Father's Day, Dad!

* * * * * * *
A son's first Hero;
A daughter's first Love.
Merle Baird-Kerr...written April 3, 2015
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