Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day for Fathers

June 21st is Father’s Day, and I wanted to write something in tribute to all the fathers in the world. I was not sure about the history of this day of celebration for fathers. I consulted Wikipedia, a very helpful online encyclopedia (, to learn about the history of Father’s Day in America. Many countries celebrate a day for fathers throughout the year. According to Wikipedia, the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane WA. Sonora Smart Dodd was a driving force behind the inauguration of the first Father’s Day in honor of her father, a single parent who raised six children.

It took a few years to make the holiday official. A bill was introduced to Congress in 1913, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924, but it was not until the Associated Men’s Wear Retailers formed a National Father’s Day Committee in New York City in the 1930’s did the legitimizing and commercialization of the celebration become a national movement. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation making the third Sunday in June an official federal holiday to celebrate fathers.

History tells us that if it were not for the political/economic focus that commercialized father’s day, the celebration might not have been what we understand it to be today. Like all things in our world, this also has a yin and a yang component to it. While it is wonderful to have a dad to reflect on for Father’s Day, the commercialization sometimes can overshadow the relationship between father and child. There are many different relationships we have with our fathers, but we all have one thing in common: if it were not for our father and mother we would not be here.

The gift of life is, in my view, why we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I did not fully understand my father until I became a father. There are many who have no father to celebrate with next Sunday for one reason or another. Father’s Day will also have different meanings for different people. But if you’re reading this article, I recommend you focus on the concepts of gratitude and love for life this coming Father’s Day, whether you are with your father or not. Love is a healing frequency. It is being in the here and now, and being thankful for the opportunity to be. Don’t forget to reach out to your father if you can.

Happy Father’s Day.

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