February 19, 2014
It was my question at point-blank to over 50 fathers in the Doha community. "As a father and a husband, do you have the time to laugh and to feel good?" The immediate reaction that I observed was that they grew a bit dim and suspicious, they wondered perhaps 'how Antony came to know facts of my life'. As I assured them that it was just a survey, they replied, 'You said it right Sir, I have no time to laugh'.
There is no role in our modern society that suffers greater neglect as far as God is concerned than that of the father. Not only has God given men the incredible privilege of imitating Him as father, He has placed upon the shoulders of fathers an incredible family responsibility. The most important building block of any society is the family. The family is the foundation, the cornerstone of civilization. Within the family one of the most important roles is that of the father. Today the father’s significance has largely been increased but not realized.
As we have seen, a husband or a father is a man of responsibility, dawn to dusk. As a husband, from the day one that he gets married, his responsibilities begin with his LONE worries for a decent house, decent living. As a responsible father, from the child's birth to his/her education, fetching a job, his/her marriage, it is the father who arranges the complete finance. A wife requires everything from him at the cost of her husband and as a father, he leaves no stones unturned to provide everything to his children lest he should feel horrible pain for his children.
The formula to keep wife and children happy is to bear the burden of your family completely and strive for it where end is not seen, but stress and struggle. A husband or a father, contradicting to his nature, completely bends himself only with an aim to keep his family happy. Imagine how important role a father plays. He keeps his work stress for himself, neglects his own health, takes no food on time but junk food at some time. With this kind of work, he becomes a victim of all kind of diseases, he visits no doctor on time, as a result he dies earlier than his beloved wife. Since most wives are inside the house, she is comfortable inside the house at least she takes some food on time, kitchen is close to her. Whoever I interviewed, it was a fact to note that 85% of their fathers passed away prior to their mothers.
Someone might argue that husbands are dying earlier than their wives because he is generally elder to her. It is true, but it does not go well with the reality. Wife and children completely depend on the head of family and he takes care of them very well. On the contrary, a wife or a mother usually is good at taking care of her children but may not be of her husband. Therefore, a father or a husband plays a more pivotal role in the family. For children nowadays, not all are attached to mother alone but fathers too.
Why doesn't a father find time to laugh?
Most crunching burden of the family is 'finance' where most of the wives know not to arrange finance for the house. Every wife has dreams but it is the husband who fulfills it, come what may. In some household wife also works but generally she works only for herself for her ornaments (of course there could be some cases of excuses too). Usually a wife is selfish when it comes to her husband while a husband being selfless provides for both wife and children equally.
1. The economy: Most people still believe in running single income house hold, father runs around morning till night in bad traffic, stress from thinking of constant bills, he ignores his health, takes panadol for headaches (which is a sign that something is going wrong in his system), with no preventive and proper lifestyle, seating a lot and hours in traffic, father has a silent stroke and dies.It is true, usually people have not given serious thought about it.
2. Lifestyle choices: Careless fathers!!Some fathers live irresponsibly, chasing all the girls in town, drinking and smoking like as if tomorrow may not exist, gradually they kill their bodies with bad elements, and they die on their own.
3. Travel: father works like a dumb donkeyto keep their family happy, travel far and wide or fathers work involves plenty travel, so many accidents and risks are involved at roads plus majority of commercial drivers are fathers not mothers.
4. Hard labour: fathers more than mothers are involved in hard manual labour and coupled with failure to care health of hisbody and heart gives way.
5. Lost at medication: Mothers due to pregnancy get to check their health more and see red flags / indications on time, most fathers never go for voluntary tests till it’s almost too late.
6. Stress: A wife screams and takes out her pressure but a husband keeps his all emotions, frustrations bottled up. To make it worse, smoking. Drinking, neglects health, a wish he suffers. No time to laugh but too busy drinking.. Stress kills especially when they are broken down. The humiliation and depression alone is enough to overdose, no wonder their deaths are always mysterious. Stress kills a man completely.
7. Take a break! If not at times but all the times if husband and wife do not get along well, if chemistry of hell is going between themevery moment and if it is becoming a scandal to children or to neighbors it would be ideal to take a break for some months or years, it depends. Taking break it does not mean he has an excuse to laugh more. But No, we should not laugh at somebody’s cost. It is a break we call on the way or on the path for reconciliation for the sake of children and the smiles soon to return within the family.
8. Other important issues: Stress and means limited to live a middle class or upper class life to lead a decent living in the society. As he gets up in the morning, all blood sucking issues surrounds him about which a mother can’t help i.e., money to buy to the household, bank loans to repay, school fees, house rent (in the middle east countries), to drop children to school and reach office on time irrespective of heavy traffic, wife’s or children’s ill health, higher education to children and job, marriage of children and when they get old take care of their grandchildren. No rest…where is the time to laugh even though there could be much of unexplained joy in the service of his family.
Mother’s role is emphasized every now and then and we know better about it. Yet over the years there have been many published studies on the importance of fathers. Without a father a child is much more likely to engage in activities that are abusive or harmful. Among sixty-three percent of young people who commit suicide are from fatherless homes. Men are the foundation of their homes. When they are physically or emotionally absent, the walls of their homes are subject to crumble; leaving their families broken and their children as casualties in the wake.
1. Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.
2. Eighty percent of rapists are from fatherless homes.
3. Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
4. Seventy-five percent of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers are from fatherless homes.
5. Seventy percent of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
6. Eighty-five percent of youth in prison are from fatherless homes.
7. Seventy percent of pregnant teens are from fatherless homes.
It is not easy being a DAD. With juggling busy schedules at work and home, all we fathers can enjoy best of our limited life in a healthy way is by:
a. Working out which increases strength and stamina
b. Eating on time healthy food everyday for stress and diet are closely linked
c. Getting sufficient sleep, 6 - 8 hours. Power naps 15 to 30 helps reduce stress.
d. Flexibility being less rigid and less competitive becoming more patient.
e. Living happy. Being content with what God has given to us. Helps to fight stress which derives from constantly comparing with others.
f. Developing habit of laughing having fun with kids. A sense of humor goes a long way.
g. Sharing thoughts with the reliable ones instead of keeping day to day affairs bottled up inside till exploding.
h. Keeping busy by getting rid of clutter.. Cleaning office, garage, house or anything that is messy that surrounds.
i. Leaving work limited to office and keeping far from home, to better focus on family.
j. Dating wife, What's the saying?‘Happy wife. Happy Family life’. Dating outside family will ruin family peace, health and wealth which belong to your children.
k. Finding a good hobby, spending some with cordial friends, doing some social volunteer works by helping others is the prime factor staying fit by reducing the stress build ups.
My suggestions are:
• Fathers cut down the work load which may cause early deaths if it continues,
• If you drive, drive carefully or demand drivers to drive responsibly for the sake of your kids as they say "speed kills"
• Reduce drinking, smoking, and indiscriminate messing around. Make a habit of regular medical check-ups.
• Finally long for peace through prayers, exercise and yoga, evening walks and being sympathetic to your family.
Mothers knowing that you and children benefit from husband’s support and he is the breadwinner in the family, stop every outburst at him and taking a dig at him every now and then. Bring him for family prayers which make whole family to relax each night. Help your husband to live long “For children or for family, two heads are better than one.”
Children, make your father to smile as you show obedience to this words. Help your ageing fathers to reduce stress level first being grateful and sympathetic to him. Remember, soon you will be walking in his footsteps and your children must take care of you too.
Honestly, for me, every father in this world is a gem of person. I love every father even though at times some fathers lived a failed life. While someone gets married his intention is to lead a good life, good husband and an excellent father. But sometimes, certain circumstances might have taken away his dream. For me, however, what matters here most is, irrespective of hard role he played as anaffectionate father and a yielding husband yet he departsearly from thisworld. What sarcasm? All sacrifice he made for his family is soon to be forgotten? You know it better and we should not .We must remind our grandchildren lest what gain of his sacrifice and he is remembered no more ? Futile is not family’s once love and sacrifice? Being optimistic, as long we live in this world let us try to laugh with our family and friends. Let us keep ourselves fit and happy to live a longer life for we return no more to laugh again.
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