Before the arrival of my first child I began to wonder what my mission as a father is. I never had the guidance from my father, so I never had an example to go by, but it does give me the ability to start something new – without others’ expectations or biased opinions.
Many questions came to mind when I began to think about how to be great parent: Should I be a strict or a lenient? Should I give lots of love or limit the emotions? Should I spoil and give them everything I never had? How can I teach my child respect? How can I teach them courage?
As time passed, I kept thinking about two things seemed meaningless at the time, but got stuck in my mind.
The first is a conversation I had a while back. I was told that Angels incarnate into the human body, and before they come into this world, they get to see the life of the parents, and their own life as humans. Angels have the ability to choose the life they want to live and who they want as parents. When an Angel incarnates to come into this world, there is no recognition of life as an Angel, as the body now has a soul. Furthermore, our job as parents is to deliver the baby into this world, we do not get to decide how the child will live.
The second was a National Geographic documentary on cheetahs that I watched while I was in Jamaica. The documentary covered the relationship between the mom and the baby cheetahs (male cheetahs are not monogamous, they are not in the picture). What I found interesting in this documentary was how the mom protects the baby cheetahs until they can get around on their own, but most importantly, the mom teaches survival. This includes the ability to act as predator and protect when they are being prey. Once the mom sees that her offsprings can survive on their own, she calmly walks away. The cheetah knows that her offsprings now know survival and they are able to live on their own. She is no longer needed.
It may seem weird, but with these to stories, I am able to find my mission as a father.
I have realized that my mission as a father is to teach my children survival. I must enable them and teach them to live on their own. Till the time they can think and take care of themselves, I must teach them decision making and consequences, respect, responsibility, hate, love, deception, risk, financial literacy, importance of education, healthy living, and other areas that I find important to live in the world today. Most important is survival. I must enable them how to protect themselves as prey, and how to be predator. The sooner, the better.
My mission as a father is not spoil my children with unnecessary material wishes, but to do my best to enable them with knowledge and skill so that one day they are able to obtain anything they want on their own.
This is what I believe in. This is my mission as a father.