This week we've commemorated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which I think serves as a good opportunity for us as fathers to reflect on our impact. I was recently at an MLK event and the speaker challenged us to answer the question, posed by Dr King, "What are you doing for others?" As I look over the canvas of my life I had to reflect on my own legacy in this regard. Encouraging fathers is the top of my list for what I'm doing for others. I've worked, volunteered, listened, and read in the name of becoming a better father while helping others do the same. Whether you're a married dad, single dad, black, white, brown, I'm here for you.
So I ask you the same question. Dad, what are you doing for others? If you're a father, there should be something you're doing for someone in your community. Your children should obviously see you doing something for them, but they should also see you doing something for people outside of the family. One of our main goals as fathers during our Dad Days is to raise our children to be assess (NOT LIABILITIES) to our communities. In our "it's all about me" social media age, it's important that we remind our kids that not everyone has the luxuries that they take for granted. At the same time we have to make it firm in their minds that they have the power to help change someone else's destiny. The only way to do that is to be proactive about it. So here are some ways that you can model the way to your children.
1. Coach Sports-Whether you're coaching your child's team or not, letting your child see you interacting and helping others will put a high price tag in their minds on the value of service.
2. Mentorship Programs-Spending regular time mentoring a child that's not your own can be a rewarding experience in so many ways. It can help you as a father see fatherhood through the eyes of your mentee. Many times I've seen the effectives of poor fathering on folks that I've mentored. This caused me to make an adjustment to how I dealt with my own children.
3. Charities- When it makes sense to do so, taking your children along as you volunteer for a charity in the community will help them see and feel the direct rewards of helping other families that are in need.