The story goes of an Anglican bishop who know his time on earth was up. He summoned all his family members around his death bed and told them that he had wished to change the world when he was a teenager. By his late 20ies he realized it was impossible and he decided to change his continent. By the time he was in his 40ies he realized he was behind schedule and desired to change his country. By the time he was 60, he decided to change his state. By his 70ies, he hadn’t changed his state and sought to change his community. Now he was about his 90ies and has realized if he had only changed his family, he could have caused a change in his family he could have changed the world.
My father once reprimanded me after I had yelled at my sister outside the home for doing something wrong. He told me that although my correction of her action was right, my location for the correction was wrong. He told me to keep family business within the family. You may not agree in every fashion with the way he said what he said, but the under toning message I learnt there was that the family comes first.
My emphasis is not on just on every member of the family sticking together through tick and thin, but most especially the fathers. The world is changing and I have discovered that fathers have never been more irresponsible in the history of the world than in the last century.
I remember a colleague of mine saying that if his father died today, he would carry all his friends to The Oriental Hotel in Lagos and finish every drink they have, shortly after that statement he described his father as a bastard man because he left his mother.
I also remember making a statement to someother colleagues that I see no reason why a man should marry more than one wife. The glaring stares I got where enough to make me dig the ground and bury myself (had I not had a good self esteem I might have done just that). The ironic thing is that besides me there was only one other person in the conversation. It showed me that True Men who would become Fathers one day are already becoming extinct. This is because it starts from today. Why should you date more than one girl simultaneously. Why should you look at another girls behind while with your girlfriend and not have the common decency to apologize especially when she doesn’t even notice not to talk of if she notices. Drop some muscle and get some brains!
For fathers who have already messed up, it’s not too late. You may not receive a warm welcome at the door, but till you die you must keep fighting to win back your family. Men, we are the heads of our families we are the bread winners, not the maggots that destroy the bread.
For the ‘busy’ family members, one day you will retire, your parents most likely will be dead, your children are too busy to spend considerable time with you and your grandchildren will be running around in the name of education. Why not pause, to enjoy your family.
The time has come especially for the fathers of the generations past, present and future to take responsibility for their family.
Death taught me, Keep your family close!