Father’s Don’t Need to Be Perfect
By John Pepe
As Father’s Day approaches it makes me ponder fatherhood. Am I the perfect dad? Am I even a good dad? At times my son looks at me as if I’m infallible (other times, not so much), and it harkens me back to when I was his age and how I viewed my father through those naïve, youthful eyes. To my thinking, my dad was the smartest, strongest, toughest man alive-perfect. Only to come to realize later in life, that although he was a good father, he was far from perfect. But is perfection necessary to being a good father, or is it okay if I make mistakes?
Watching Guardians, Vol.2, Peter Quill wanted nothing more than to just have a father in his life. Not a perfect father, just a father to play catch with, like the other kids. He wanted a father so bad that he told other kids his dad was David Hasselhoff. Then out of nowhere, thirty-some years later, his biological father, Ego, shows up in his life. But his father wasn’t there to make his life better. He was there to use him; to fulfill his own desires, not to develop a relationship with Peter. At the end of the movie Peter realizes that Yandu, the imperfect thief, had been a true father to him. Yandu did his best to raise and protect him, even from Ego, his own biological father.
What I’ve come to realize, both as a father and son, is that fatherhood isn’t about being perfect. It is about doing the best with what we have learned as a person to be a good father-guiding, loving, and supporting our children in their endeavors. Fathers, good fathers, don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be there for their children helping them better our better selves. And if you do that, you don’t have to be perfect. Ego may have been his father but he wasn’t his “daddy,” the imperfect Yandu was.
Live like a King, Train a King
This piece is dedicated to my father, John “Panther” Rodriguez.
In Captain America Civil War, we get our first taste of T’Challa as the Black Panther. Comic books lovers, such as myself, have been patiently waiting for this great character to be instilled in the MCU. He brings the swagger of a young King, but the confidants of a noble ruler that is loved by his people.
But we also get to briefly see the relationship that T’Challa has with father, then King T’Chaka. T’Chaka in his younger days held the mantle of Black Panther and helped protect his people and their resources from outside threats. He knew that one day his son would have to take on that responsibility.
It’s a great responsibility as a parent to raise and teach your child to do all the right things, but it’s even a bigger responsibility to show them how to live the right way. King T’Chaka gives wise advise to help T’Challa (Black Panther) on his path to adulthood, but I think he noticed how great of a person his father was and how he treated others is what helped him be the great King of today.
You can memorize all the Bible passages about being a good father and all the quotes from great authors, poets, pastors and even celebrities. But to a child, there is nothing more nurturing than the time spent and the example to live by.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train your child in the way they should go, even when they are old, they will not depart”
A Father’s Grace
By G.P. Avants
A dad sees you as his own even when everyone else notices you are blue. He can be a king who reaches down and pulls an orphan out of a cold uncaring world. That is what Oden did for Loki. He was a foreigner, no, Loki was part of the enemy’s household, yet the King of Asgard took this lost boy as his life. This adopted son was welcomed as a child of the king. How much better could it get?
As a rebellious young man, I think Loki didn’t remember this kindness. In his desire to rule, he forgot how he got to his position in the first place. Loki was surrounded by greatness and still he wanted more. He never lost the love of his father, mother or brother Thor. They would stand up for Loki when the universe jeered and shook their fists. Each one of Loki’s family members would be willing to lay down their life in his place. Love does crazy things to people. So, really, why does he turn around and try and undo what goodness has been shown to him? Loki could blame his past, his brother’s unwillingness to lead, or maybe just angst against the system. It’s easy to scratch our heads and wonder why Loki would do everything in his power to bite the hands that fed him.
Then I look at my relationship with my dad. It could always be better. I have been a rebellious son, ornery, and uncaring towards my dad. At times I have even been ashamed to be called his son, because he was very vocal about his faith. Being very shy I would laugh it off wanting the attention of my peers instead of the pointing and the stares. I can’t really give Loki too hard of a time. I have walked in his boots and maybe even sprouted horns to show my own stubborn nature. Have I even been a little stubborn with God as well? Sure. I have taken so many good things for granted, but being caught up in all my little plans and schemes. I am thankful for my Earthly and Heavenly father never gave up on me. They love me no matter what mood or face I wear. That is called grace. It’s a wonderful word that Loki’s all over the world need to give a chance to experience. Thanks Dad. You don’t have to be perfect, but you are the perfect one for me.