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June 2013

To be a true dad is to be a true role model C TOLLE LEGE (Pick Up and Read) Thomas Bones

all it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, and call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. — Jane Howard, “Families”

Thomas Bones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Villanova University. He taught in a local preparatory school and a local junior college for a total of 19 years. He has published a book of essays and poems for Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, and his poetry has been published in “Brandywine Magazine.” He resides in Trinity House, Berwyn.

In May, we celebrated Mothers Day. This month we celebrate Fathers Day. By honoring our mothers and fathers we honor the family; by honoring mother, father and family we honor marriage. Lately, there has been much debate about the concept of marriage. One side of the debate is insidiously damaging the traditional concept of the family. Marriage, which is a traditionally solemn and natural union — both physically and spiritually — between a male and a female is being ripped apart in a strange and unnatural way. Same-sex marriage promotes a different concept of fatherhood,

marriage and the family. It makes one wonder how to celebrate Mothers Day and Fathers Day. A true father realizes that he not only has the serious obligation of providing for the physical security and the material well-being of the children, but he in union with the mother, has the equally important responsibility of guiding the moral well-being of the children. Both parents have the duty of giving good example. Many children admire a hero. Children are thrilled by the courage of a father who faces danger without flinching. They are impressed, too, by

the father who refuses to be defeated by difficulty, disease or disaster. Children admire a father who does not weep in the face of trouble, or run away from responsibility. A father knows that life is not peaches and cream. He knows that life must weather its share of storm and stress. And so everyone respects those fathers who are strong enough to oppose difficulty with strength, danger with courage and evil with determination. It is the virtue of fortitude which enables a father to overcome difficulty in the pursuit of good. Leadership and example are important qualities of fatherhood. The philosopher Aristotle said that three qualities — ethos pathos and logos — are necessary for leadership. If a father has these three qualities he will have

the ability to teach his children to act morally and culturally proper (ethos); he will have the ability to teach understanding, to direct his children emotionally (pathos), and he will have the ability to give reasons for particular actions; therefore, to move his children justly and intellectually (logos). We often hear the term “role models” used these days. Star athletes and actors and actresses are sometimes looked upon as role models. The real role models for children should be their parents. A mother and a father are the primary role models in the family, the basic unit of society. If our culture downgrades and damages the traditional concept of marriage and the family, the moral and true values of society are damaged.

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