Sons should “look again at” their fathers. This is the etymology of respect, as my dad helped me explain to my soccer coach.
When my family was dropping my dad off at the airport for his deployment, I, what the world would call a stepson, felt I had much to consider. Was I going to represent him well as the eldest son while he was gone? Would I reflect his integrity and responsibility? Would he be pleased with me when he returned, or perhaps, if he returned?
While I thought these things, with many doubts in mind, I admired a young man who was being dropped off by his parents. He was good looking. His father looked like he was in the wise ages of the late forties, and seemed to have been born in India or somewhere in the middle east. I admire those from other cultures because it seems as though they value well the concept of fatherhood. This father seemed very proud of his son, to the point of becoming almost like a child himself in his manner.
As I relate this, I am reminded of times I have seen how families full of teenaged sons marched out of Sunday Mass with the stature of princes following their proud and accomplished patriarch. Could I stand that tall and walk with such a confident and powerful gate?
This son of this proud father seemed quite confident in his existence as son. I witnessed the father walk several feet between the security line and the check-in line, where there was a bowl of candy, to specially select one such sweet and offer it to his son.
However, after a few minutes, with confusion I witnessed the son spit it out into a trashcan. There were no angry looks afterwards, though perhaps slightly sad ones, but evidently, he was telling his parents he did not like the taste.
This scandalized my whole train of thought. Could someone so blessed take such son-ship for granted? I have seen throughout my life instances where sons were not blessed this way.
One such example spent much of his days in sedentary play of video games, and was at home all day because he had dropped out of school. Although his single mother seemed worn and thin, he had weight on him like his father whom I had once seen from a distance. His speech was slurred and unclear, and for his supposed fitness walks, he wore moccasin fur boots. Sadly, none of the strength of manhood was being adequately instilled in him.
I think that it is very important that sons do not squander the gift of a good man in their life. While I still can, I want to emulate the man who has done so much in saving me from a half-fatherless life that, frankly, would have probably led to jail. He is truly a great man, and it would be the greatest compliment to me if he would see his stature in my own sons. That would make me proud.