Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A recent article form The Telegraph (UK) cites something pretty interesting regarding the role of "dad" most men are absent from these days. The article states:

"When it comes to Christmas, it might be safe to assume children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys, games and treats.

But a survey of their typical lists for Father Christmas has shown many have more serious concerns, requesting "a dad" instead.

A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer.

A "pet horse" was the third most popular choice, with a "car" making a bizarre entry at number four.

Despite their material requests, the tenth most popular Christmas wish on the list was a 'Dad'" (Furness, 2012).

Now, my initial reaction to this is that of the classic line from Ace Ventura, "Leh hoo ze herr". How in the world could things have gotten so bad that children, in the UK at least, would put a DAD near the top of their list for Santa Claus?

Seriously, stop and think about this for a moment. If you grew up with a father I bet you could think of 100 things to ask Santa for, and when you ran out of ideas of the things you would like to have, a dad wouldn't have even been a flashing thought in your mind. Perhaps "spending more time with dad" would make a distant spot in your top 50, but just simply "DAD" as an average top 10 placement -- that points to a serious problem. My wife said that she remembered her father (a business man) telling her something to the effect of "All you have to do is just show up on time and do your job...that will make you stand out!"


Perhaps there were several participants who had lost their fathers prematurely to an illness or accident? Perhaps this points to the "collateral damage" of gay marriage? Perhaps this gets at a deeper issue, one that some might simply write off as an "unintended consequence" of science interfering in biology?

We could inductively seek the answer, and that's just what our society does these days. We (at least the media) search for the cause behind the effect. Just like the shooters in Connecticut, Colorado, Fort Hood, and Columbine, we seek out every possible missing variable to solve the equation. And while that might be good, I can't help but think that sometimes we just simply don't want to deal with the reality of the situation. Our society today is going into a moral decline.

Granted this study was conducted in England, but can Americans really vouch for the men in their own country as being much better; on average? Ethics, manners, hard work, and taking responsibility seem to be missing from the equation today. It almost sounds antiquated and sad to suggest that our schools need to teach etiquette, but it used to be taught in school. I can assure you that such subjects are being taught to our kids. Call us old fashioned. It is pathetic to even think that children need to be taught how to earn their lot in life, but our society seems bent on breeding a nation of people knocking on their neighbor's door with an empty plate in their hands expecting it to be filled, not a rake or shovel in hand asking if they need any help.

Are these sentiments really just too old fashioned? Am I barking up a tree that was planted in the 1800's, or am I on the cusp of tomorrow's great awakening? Men in general need to get with it. Grab a shovel when you get home tonight, walk next door, (if you have kids take them with you!) and clear off your neighbor's driveway. Not because you think the widow inside will give you $20 so you can go buy lottery tickets, do it because you want to model hard work - or God forbid a little charity - to tomorrow's generation. Do it because you are young enough to still do it. Do it because you are out of shape and need some exercise. I don't care what the reason or motivation is that you find, just do it!

Do you remember the PSA/commercials that said, "Take time and be a dad"? I can do them one better. How about "Take time and learn to be a man" first? How about that, America?

Furness, H. (2012). Retrieved December 26, 2012 from site;

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