Yesterday was Father’s Day. It was a day set aside worldwide to celebrate fathers.
Its origin is not exactly known, as varied periods are being bandied by people, including scientists and researchers.
Some scholars claim the custom of honouring fathers on a special day is over 4,000 years old, while to others, it can be traced to the ruins of Babylon.
Historically, it is recorded that a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. On it, Elmesu wished his Babylonian father good health and long life.
Though there is no record of what happened to the boy and his father, it is said that the tradition of celebrating Father’s Day is practised in many countries all over the world.
Be that as it may, the day, as it is celebrated today, is known to have been established by dint of hard work and intense struggle by an American woman, Ms. Sonara Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington.
Ms. Dodd advocated that just as we have to set aside a Mother’s Day to honour mothers, a similar one should be instituted to celebrate fathers. That was after she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1906, and questioned why there wasn’t one for fathers because of the affection she received from her own father, William Jackson Smart, a civil war veteran whose wife died while giving birth, and had to raise both the newborn and the five other children.
Ms. Dodd’s rigorous campaign gave birth to the celebration we have today.
In Ghana, the day is yet to garner the support it deserves, as many people find it extremely difficult to celebrate their fathers, simply because their fathers were absent in their lives.
Many men take delight in producing children, because the Bible enjoins them to multiply and replenish the earth, without accepting the responsibility of catering for their children.
In this country, a lot of men have exhibited a high level of irresponsibility, thereby losing their God-given position of being the head of the family.
It is one thing being a child-manufacturer, and another being a dad, that is a father who is up to his responsibility of providing for the family.
It is instructive to note that the Father’s Day celebration became institutionalised because of one woman’s campaign inspired by her father’s struggles and efforts to take care of the family.
As we begin the journey towards the celebration of another Father’s Day next year, the Times exhorts all fathers to strive to take up their responsibilities so that they can be appreciated by their children, and given the due honour.
They must resolve to be real dads, and not called fathers only because they have managed to produce children.
In the meantime, we wish a Happy Father’s Day to all.