Selflessness. When it exhibits itself it can be surprising, even foreign, although it is always welcome. I saw it yesterday as scores of volunteers based out of Detroit’s Farwell Park took to the overgrown community gardens to weed and the adjacent and littered Eight Mile Road to pick up trash during the Eight Mile Boulevard Associations’ annual “Hands on Eight Mile” event. Together, individuals from all walks of life came together for the common good of a community. No politics. No division. Just an agenda of charity and selflessness.
Selflessness. It is also a word apropos for Father’s Day. Because as those of us blessed to have children will attest, nothing can prepare you for fatherhood. It is both the toughest and most rewarding thing most of us will ever do in life. Because when you have a child, your life (for better) is no longer your own. It is to be focused on the well-being, care and guidance of that individual. On someone and something else.
Before being treated to brunch today by my youngest daughter who resides in the area, I was presented with a gift which encompassed a framed piece filled with photographs of both of my girls growing up. The moment was one of joy and melancholy – joy for the retrospective of wonderful memories and melancholy for the realization that it has all seemingly gone by in a flash. “They grow up too fast” is the all familiar phrase.
Today, I am both thankful and regretful, the latter borne of times I feel I could have been more patient and attentive with my girls, the former content that I truly did my best to be the best father I could be. We all learn “on the job” – often by trial and error – able to assess only in retrospect how we feel we did. Good fathers can take homage though in the fact that they take the responsibility head on and with seriousness. Today, we celebrate their braveness and resolve. And, their selflessness – something our society today could use a lot more of.