Tuesday 12 December 2017

The wisdom of our fathers

Mark Twain
Mark Twain


When he was a boy of 14 years, Mark Twain, the great adventurer and wily intellectual, regarded his father to be so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have him around, but when he reached the age of 21 pronounced himself to be astonished at how much his father had learned in only seven years. Fathers everywhere will allow themselves a wry smile at that one.

Father's Day, as is today, can be easily dismissed as yet another card-selling Hallmark moment, a consumerist designation to play on complex familial relationships, in all of their blissful and indeed many troubled manifestations: to dismiss Father's Day in such terms would not be unreasonable but would be curmudgeonly and unfair in the relative scheme of unfairnesses.

A little known fact is that today is the 50th anniversary of Father's Day, and in this the year of commemoration, landmarks and all such events that must be duly acknowledged, it is as good a milestone as any to acknowledge the father, and by the passage of time to honour all of our fathers who art still amongst us and to remember those who are not.

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