I was raised by a single mom, 1 of 7 children. Until this Father's Day, as I write this post, I used to think of my dad as a deadbeat dad because he was not in our lives. Today, decades later, I have a change of heart due to the injustices of racism that black men are still facing in the US today. It is vivid and more apparent to me now that my dad's condition in his era must have created a hopeless mindset. His experiences likely made letting go possible. He was alive but may have been dead inside. Does this qualify him as a deadbeat dad? Or should we even use such terms to describe a human being?
My dad was born during a time when his own father's (my grandfather) nickname was "coon." Perhaps, he never had the opportunity to find his voice, nor experience being the daddy he could have been. Maybe if he could have experienced job equity and a sense of dignity, he could have been proud to be a father and provide for his family. Or perhaps things could have been different.
Although my father passed in 2000, I'm delighted today to have a new perspective. Dad, I forgive you. Please forgive me for taking so long to see. Wishing you a happy Father's Day for what may have been.
INSIGHT: Sometimes you just need a new perspective.
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