By Daniel Francis
I listened intently as a friend whom I loved dearly told me something completely absurd in the most casual of manner. The week before she ran into a peculiar woman. She was roughly the same age as my friend was and they shared many physical attributes. They both noticed it immediately upon crossing paths. This of course prompted a conversation where it was discovered that they shared the same, as they called him, “wotless sperm donor”. They both laughed it off and immediately accepted that it would appear they were sisters. How they laughed so casually at their father’s loose and irresponsible behaviour was beyond my understanding.
While she spoke however, I remembered another scenario where a friend was embarrassed to have me over. Her mom was a handful. Ten minutes into my sitting on their porch, her mother had completely hijacked the conversation. She retold the pain of my friend’s father’s exit as though it happened yesterday. It seems they have not seen him since that day. For my friend, who had no memory of her father, she shrugged her shoulders and told me to pay her mother no mind. She went on to say, “My sperm donor has no power over my life today so why talk about him?”
Yes, the two scenarios happened. At the time, I was completely alarmed but what was more alarming is that here in T&T these types of situations are very common. What to me appeared completely and utterly abhorrent in both cases were retold as though they were normal stories. This is because, to those women, it was their lives so nothing seemed abnormal about it. Not only that but this type of behaviour by a father was widespread and considered almost normal or accepted in some communities. What a terrifying norm to exist.
An alarm needs to be sounded. How could it be a norm for a man to behave in such a way and leave such devastation in the wake of his actions? It clearly shows a blatant disregard by a certain sect of men in our society who take zero responsibility as fathers and as men. Immediately my mind ran to the absence of men in our churches. I wonder if there is any correlation between a breakdown of moral responsibility and selfishness in men who do not prioritise God and the church in their lives. If you are not accustomed to hearing the Word and live your life chasing thrills and your own selfish wants, then it is no wonder we are in this dilemma now.
I was once asked how we can have more boys and men at church. This question seems like a mountainous, almost impossible task. I say that only because I think to make that a reality, we would need a combined effort by the entire Catholic community starting from young boys and working our way up. The new norm would have to be shifted to living in faith and understanding your responsibilities as a man in society. The ‘wotless’ behaviour that we see must become a taboo such that it is completely embarrassing to be found to be such an individual.
In my last article, I spoke about how Satan makes sin look normal and I believe this is one of the grave symptoms of this. Why did both my friends feel like it was almost expected for their fathers to behave in such a way? Why are there men who behave in this way in the first place? There is a crack somewhere in our society that I believe only God can fix but He needs our help. It starts by encouraging our young men to not only come to church but be active in church. We must combat what is of the world and renew the norms of male responsibility until there are none or it is rare to behave in these irresponsible ways.
Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.
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