In 1916 Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington, raised by a single father, tried to create a holiday similar to Mother’s Day. White roses were used to remember fathers who died; red roses were given to living fathers. Most men thought it was too sentimental and /or commercial, since they felt they would be paying for the presents themselves (remember men were the breadwinners in those days).
During the Depression struggling retailers fought to make it a second Christmas and finally in 1972 President Nixon declared it a national holiday. Americans celebrate it on the 3rd Sunday of June while in some countries, like Spain, it is celebrated in March.
I want to dedicate this Father’s Day as a time to honor all the men who have given of themselves to raise healthy, conscious children. They may be biological fathers or not, men who have taken it upon themselves to mentor and be role-models.
Today, men are redefining masculinity and many have taken on the role of nurturer and teacher while experimenting with a new role of parenting. These extraordinary men have brought a new meaning to “father”. As the male spirit opens up to the feminine energy in the world, it makes all of us more complete human beings and not so isolated within our roles.
To think of yourself as a human being first in all relationships changes how one approaches life. There are less “have to-s” and more “want to-s”. As people, as parents, we simply do what needs to be done without worrying about if it is proper regardless of gender.
This Sunday, plan a day to make the men in your life feel special:
I will personally be lighting a candle for my father in remembrance & getting his favorite food, halvah, to place on my altar. I like to spend the day focused on what I learned from him and opening to the good things he did that added to my life. Whatever it is you decide to do for this holiday, enjoy the celebration and the men you cherish. As my brother Mark so wisely said to me, “The best present for me is always feeling loved and included and appreciated. Gifts are quite secondary.”
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