June 17, 2012, - 3:47 pm
It’s been almost five years since I lost my father, H.L. Schlussel, MD, to pancreatic cancer. It seems like it was yesterday. And I miss him every single day. But even though he is gone, he is with me every day in the lessons he imparted to me as a loving, caring, concerned parent. I realize every day how lucky I was to have him in my life. How lucky I was that he was around and involved in my life and my development. Today, fewer and fewer Americans are so lucky. A father is the most important person you’ll ever have in your life and the most important influence, despite the constant ridicule of dads throughout pop culture, TV, and the movies.
Me and My Dad, Ten Days After I Was Born
My Dad (Center) Receives Award From
Michigan Lions Club for Providing Free Eye Care to the Poor, Blind
My father was a great guy. He was a sort of “Renaissance Man,” spoke several languages, was well read and brilliant, knew a lot about everything, and was a patriotic American, who proudly served in the U.S. Army when he was drafted out of medical school during the Vietnam war. He taught us to believe in G-d and to love America. He taught us to do the right thing and be honest and decent to others. He taught us about the dangers of liberalism and big brother and the history of the Jewish people. Being good Americans, good Jews, and decent people were primary in his parenting us every single day. But the most important things he taught us were not through words. They were through actions. My father always acted with the utmost of integrity, decency, honor, and charity. Sadly, so many American kids are never taught these things because they have no father in their lives. Their single mother is practically worthless because she is now a worker in the marketplace, not a nurturer who stays home and keeps the family. And yet, she will never be able to fill the role of a father. I was lucky that I had a traditional father. It’s something that’s quickly becoming (and may already be) passe. And with that, so are all the things kids learn from a traditional father.
Is it any wonder we have so many slacker men who come home to live with mom? Is it any wonder we have so many kids born out of wedlock? The guys learn by example. They had no father in their lives to teach them to grow up and become responsible adults. The women learn by example. They had no father in their lives and are as lax as their mothers were in insisting on that as a prerequisite.
My father–through words and example–impressed upon us the importance of G-d, family, and country. He taught us to have the courage of our convictions. Kids today, with no father, learn none of these things. Instead, “parents” like cable TV and US Magazine teach them the importance of living like a Kardashian or a Teen Mom. The important things are not important to them. But what is important to them–fame at any cost and fancy clothes, cars, and houses are the goal, with traditional values and patriotism long ago in the trash bin. Heck, today “fathers” are contestants on “The Bachelorette.” It’s sad.
I was lucky that my father was not shoved into a Mr. Mom slot. He was masculine and he was the breadwinner and protector, and he would let no one take that away or demote him. That’s a role that is no longer valued anymore. Unfortunately, in our feminized, feminist world, at least one in 15 fathers is a stay-at-home dad in America. Some stay-at-home dad advocacy groups (which should be called “No Balls, Inc.”) say the number is more like one in five dads. The kids of those fathers are raised without ambition. They see a father content to stay at home, cook, clean, and change diapers, not driven to succeed in the marketplace. And so the number of effeminate, slacker men will rise, and the cycle will continue. These men aren’t fathers. They are wimpy caretaker clinicians with a penis (or, at least, something that looks like one but may no longer be functional). It’s so bad already that USA Today reports that Fathers Day gifts are “less gender-role-driven,” this year. Today, kids don’t have fathers. They just have “parents.” Even those who call themselves supporters of “traditional family values” and stood up for Dan Quayle when he criticized Murphy Brown, are today the hypocrites who idolize single mom Bristol Palin and her alpha male “mother” Sarah Palin who selfishly abandoned her family for ambition and left her husband Todd to quit his job and assume the wifely duties of raising the kids.
This isn’t good for America. As I’ve always noted, matriarchies never last. You cannot name one matriarchal society on earth that’s survived. On Fathers Day, we should be strengthening and reinforcing what it actually means to be a father. And that means being a man, showing kids how to be a man, and letting kids see by example how a decent but masculine man behaves.
Fewer kids today–if they even have a father in their lives–get to see that. And, so, they’ll never learn.
I was lucky that I had that. But fewer and fewer Americans will.
Give your father a hug today and tell him how much he’s meant to you in your life. I wish I could tell my father that again, today. I’m glad I got to tell him while he was still here.
I love you, Dad.
Me and My Dad
Tags: Dad, Father's Day, H. L. Schlussel MD, H.L. Schlussel