Rodney Hide on Dads

Herald on Sunday

Rodney Hide has written his column on Dads…including his own:

My Dad’s a great man. He’s not great like he was once prime minister or something. He wasn’t a great sportsman, a celebrity or an activist. He is a great man in the way all the good men of his generation are.

He worked hard all his life. He looked after his family. He enjoys every day. I have never known him to say a bad thing about another person. I doubt he has ever had a bad thought. The only thing he can’t abide is laziness. His measure of anyone is how hard they work.

He doesn’t study. Or read books. And he never lectures people. I don’t recall him ever telling me off.

But, again, like all the good men of his generation, he sets a standard, not by talking about it but by living it. He is a role model for me; one that I have always aspired to live up to but haven’t always succeeded. The values that guide him are basic and good, handed down from his parents and their parents before them.

They are simple values but these days they appear impossibly hard to live up to.

My good fortune in life is to have had that standard set and to have been inspired always to try to live up to it.

Simple values, easy to understand but hard to live up to…unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who don;t have any standards to live up to and worse we have a society that says in all sorts of ways that it isn’t your fault…there, there petal…the government will take care of it.

We now have entire neighbourhoods that have no dads. That’s never happened before, even in wartime. The welfare system has made dads economically redundant. In the raising of children they have become an optional extra.

The DPB cheque each week provides the financial support for the raising of children but it can’t substitute for a father to look up to and to learn from. Young boys learn from their dads how to be good husbands and fathers. Young girls learn what to look for in a husband and father for their children.

There are 225,000 adults not living with one or other of their children. Most are men.

We know there are deadbeat dads. But there are plenty of good dads, too, made redundant from family life by the DPB.

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