Sins of the Fathers
How funny individualism used to be! Anyone over the age of 50 would agree!
No, I am not writing a poem. I am contemplating whether the loss of the individual may be directly related to the Sins of the Fathers, which I will use initial caps for “Sin” and “Father” throughout this hub to emphasize.
Father was never deceived, but mother was one you could ploy. I do not mean to be degrading of mother at all, or to insinuate that intuitiveness is by any means weaker or less astute. Mother had different strengths. I only wish to lay out the differences between the Father’s and mother’s weaknesses and strengths and how each molds us, in my own view, to communicate what is lacking today that perhaps might be the cause of our being divided as a country.
If I asked my mother for money to go to the movies, for example, and I told her “Everybody’s going,” out of her heart and a want to see me happy - and out of the house - she would give me the money I needed to go to the movies; that is, if she had it. If she did not enough money to spare, I then would have to go to Father – which was always “harder” to do. Why? Father always asked questions, like, “Who’s ‘everybody’”? and “What movie are you seeing”?
Now, sometimes mother would ask the same questions, but that was only when she wasn’t busy. To her, having me get out of the house for the day was always the goal, so she did not care if it was the movies or whatever. In fact, when I was growing up, my brothers and sisters were out of the house all day, always, only to return home briefly for meals. It did not matter what the weather was like. If it were raining, or hurricane-force winds, we would take cover in our garage and play board games. Mother would peak in occasionally but that was it. And, of course, we hated to be in the garage because we did not want her around, inasmuch as she did not want us in the house.
Father, on the other hand, was not ploy-able. He was always thinking ahead of our own thoughts. He was always sifting and analyzing every little thing. “If ‘everyone’ jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump off too”? was a frequent question, for example, when I asked him for money when trying to persuade him of the utter important truth that “everybody was going.” This was an invitation for him to trip me up also with the question, “Who’s ‘everybody’”? And I would reply, “Maggie and Ditto,” my only two friends. “Oh! So that is everybody”? he would ask.
“Come on, Dad, please”? I would plead. Then he would say, “What movie are you seeing”?
Now, this was a tough question for me to answer. Why? Simply because I truthfully wanted the money to hang out with my entire group of friends, including guys, at the Teen Center that Father did not like. Mother did not like it either, but remember, Mother rarely, if ever, asked.
Also, the question was tough because, up until that moment, I had not anticipated Father would care what movie I was seeing. (In those days, like today, all movies were rated anyway even when, in my Father’s opinion, there was no need to rate them. Ryan’s Daughter being one of them, for example, that my Father thought it important I see, and which he himself took me to see because in his mind it was an important statement about “group” thinking.)
“It’s a movie about growing up in the city, or something like that. I forgot the title,” which, I thought, was a satisfactory reply.
“Oh, really? Hmm. Who’s driving you”?
Wow. Now the questions are really getting deep. Whew, what now? You see, no parent was involved in the plan at all. Zachery, who just got his license, was driving all of us. Zachery was a friend down the block from me. He was a guy I grew up with and a friend I had known my entire childhood. But for me to tell my father I was going out with a bunch of teenagers alone, at night, without parental supervision – which was the truth - was a sure reason to deny me the money I needed. So, while heretofore I had told only one lie to my mind to get the money, now I am forced to tell two lies (the other lies were “white” lies, which were not really lies because they were half truths).
“Oh, Maggie’s mom is driving us. In fact, everyone is waiting for me to call to tell them whether I can go or not.”
“I will call her,” Father said.
S--t! Dammit! God help me!
“No”! I screamed. “Are you trying to embarrass me? Noooooooo”!
Now the tears come because the thought that Father would call Maggie’s mother is just too much to bear. It would not only reveal that I am lying to Father, but it would also reveal to Maggie’s mother that Maggie is lying too, and Maggie would not forgive me for that.
“Oh, cut it out, you liar. You’re not going to the movies! I know what you’re up to. Do you think you can get what you want by lying to me”?
“F_ _ K you! I never get to do ANYTHING”!
And then of course I ran out of the house crying, knowing that I would never get the money I needed. Father ran after me. He caught up to me in his car as I ran up the hill crying towards nowhere. “Get in the car,” Father commanded.
The Reader of this hub must know that this story eventually ends with Father giving me the money, even though I didn’t get that far yet in this hub. It was a monumental moment in my young life because when Father gave me the money it was because I eventually told him the truth; and his giving me the money signified to me that he regarded me as old enough to take responsibility for myself as a young teenager and old enough to out at night – and, of course, the corny lesson that lying is not going to get me anywhere.
But a careful analysis of the psychology of Father versus mother is at play here in a microcosmic-like kind of way. The lesson may seem “trite” to the Reader, but the truth of the matter is that mother’s unconditional love sometimes gets in the way of her children seeing themselves for who they are, while a Father’s love often seems “conditional,” or made to seem that way by the manner of disciplines a Father chooses.
Consider this fact: Fatherless households are on the rise. And as one would expect, so too are children growing up without seeing who they are on the inside, or even realizing that others “can see” things about a person that the person often cannot see in themselves. When children grow up without a Father, they often will look to a “group” for direction on “how to be,” which demands conformity. Irrespective of whether a woman is a harsh disciplinarian, it is the Father’s “conditioned” way of love that shows children their immature ways and the way they will always fail when they live with the lies they tell themselves (which they too eventually believe if they lie to themselves long enough!).
So, my question is: Is it a coincidence today that many who follow “collective” political policies are often those without a Father? It is an uncanny observation, almost universally true, at least to my eye. I worked in an office once, for example, where all my supervisors’ Fathers were absent in their lives, either through death or psychologically, or through divorce, in one case entirely absent (never known). And they ALL were “collective” thinkers.
I believe that a strong inner core comes from the Father, irrespective of whether the child is a boy or girl, doesn’t matter. And even if one is not a believer of the bible, the Sins of the Fathers, their absence either psychologically or physically, is so apparently consequential and powerful enough to affect us all in our daily lives in the manner of how we conduct ourselves in our public life - maybe even how we vote? Think about it. Really think about it and you will be amazed at how this thread of absent Fathers affects us today.