“Becoming a father to a son? Man, I’m not sure how good I would be! I don’t have any brothers. I didn’t have my dad around to teach me how to play sports, go fishing, do handyman projects around the house. I was too much of a bookworm—it just won’t work.”
This is something that a young man once said to himself, because his father was absent in his life. He often would wonder how he could give someone an experience that he himself never had. He would often tell me that his preference would be to have daughters, since he had a plethora of females in his family for support. In addition, it would save him the embarrassment of not being as knowledgeable about typical things that men do. (Which meant if he had a son he would have to reach out to other men to show him how to do those things, and thus it could be embarrassing to him and have an effect on his son’s confidence in his ability to do normal “man things”). One thing that I often tell my students is that although you may grow up without certain things, if it’s meant for you to have or to be able to do certain things, God would provide them. Where a father isn’t, there could be an uncle, a friend’s dad, your minister and other church leaders, community mentors, etc. As a professional mentor within higher education, I feel that it is my duty to enlighten my students to see things differently, and in a more positive manner. The best way to do this is to be a solution-focused person, which is something that I often speak of.
All of us are without something. However, it is our duty to access the resources (which many times are at our finger tips) in order to fill that void. Some of the most powerful people to ever walk the earth were presented early on with limits. However, they looked for ways to motivate themselves and persevere. In other words, they stepped out on nothing and got the results they desired!
Now back to the young man.
That was several years ago when he first thought those thoughts. Today, he is a great father to his children, and also works in the community with young men. He is a mentor to both young ladies, as well as young men. He is well respected in his family and in his church. And many times stated that he takes his nephews, sometimes 3 to 4 at a time, out for lunch, to the mall, etc. In essence, in my opinion he has become a Dad both in his profession and in his personal life! By accessing his resources and watching the great role models around him, he proved his initial thoughts wrong. When asking him how he felt now, as opposed to how he did when first sharing his initial thoughts with me a few years ago, he stated that he was “doing the unthinkable”! –
Submitted by William Kincy Coordinator of the Pathways 3MP (Minority Male Mentoring Program)
Wake Technical Community College