Well, folks. A few days ago was Father’s Day.
Traditionally, Father’s Day is a holiday focused on glorifying one’s father. Let me tell you why I have a problem with this.
In the United States, for almost every holiday, we use family as a rallying point. Think about it: Nearly every holiday (with the exception of “adult” holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Mardi Gras) revolve around family, in its marketing and in its promotion.
But what if you didn’t have a family?
I have a family, but I don’t. If that makes sense. I have a family in the traditional sense, but I grew up in a broken home around rampant drug abuse and often untreated mental illness. This environment I grew up in has made me all the more appreciative for a relatively mundane home life. One that doesn’t result in random blowups or the late night visits from intoxicated family members.
Father’s Day and holidays of its ilk twist at a thorn in my side. It is a thorn that will likely never go away. It is also one that gets worse through the use of social media, which I sometimes feel digs that thorn even deeper.
At the same time, it’s something I’ve tried to use as a strength, providing courage and advice where I can to those who have faced (or are facing) similar circumstances. Going off the fantastic book “Leading With a Limp” (among others) and through my increased faith in a higher power, I’ve found we can use our weaknesses and those wounds that simply won’t heal as strengths to help others.
Instead of using holidays to glorify and cherish that which we care about, why can’t it be a standard? Rather than New Year’s Resolutions or “diets”, why not adopt a new lifestyle?
This focus on a single day or week (or month) to appreciate that which we have is a larger issue. It is also one that is truly disquieting for this blogger, particularly when it comes to the holiday season.