Positive and powerful things happen when men come together to achieve a common goal. Consider the men who turned out for the March on Washington and the Million Man March, the men who secured the Seattle Seahawk’s Super Bowl XLVIII victory and the over 250 men who gather at Elliot Primary School each year to promote and encourage reading and literacy. 

Henry Ford said, “Coming together is beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Fathers everywhere want the very best for their children. These fathers do their best to provide, protect and parent their children with unconditional love. That, to me, is admirable.

Support

What’s even more admirable, though, is when a group of fathers come together to support each other in achieving this common goal.

Last year, I was privileged enough to be invited by the coordinator of the Happy Valley Child Care Centre to “facilitate” a monthly father’s group at the school, which was truly by the fathers, for the fathers.

I was excited to be amongst these men who spoke of, and demonstrated, their commitment to being involved fathers and supporting each other in being the same. This type of get-together impacts families, communities and the world.

Sadly, some fathers believe that they can and should do it alone. That is a mistake. A friend recently reminded me that we are stronger together. She said, similar to Ford, “Success is the result of team effort.”

No one, including fathers, can claim that they achieve success all by themselves. No father is an island. We are stronger together.

Ensuring that our children are protected, provided for, loved and supported is a joint effort. When we neglect to collaborate on this common goal, the consequences can be disastrous, even deadly, as illustrated in the story of The Mouse and the Mousetrap.

One sunny morning something caught the mouse’s eye through a crack in the wall. It was a package the farmer’s wife was opening. The mouse wondered what kind of delicious food it might contain. To his surprise it wasn’t food, but a mousetrap!

Warning

As the mouse scurried out to the yard he shouted a loud warning to all. “Watch out for the mousetrap in the house! Watch out for the mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken raised his head and said, “I can tell, my friend, that this causes you great worry, but it is of no worry to me. Please don’t bother me with it!”

The mouse then turned to the pig who said, “Sorry, Mr Mouse, it has no consequence to me either.”

The mouse then turned to the bull who said, “Sounds like you have a problem friend, but it really doesn’t concern me… sorry, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.”

The mouse went back to the house to face the mousetrap alone. He felt down and dejected.

That night the sound of the trap was heard throughout the house –– snap! The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught, but couldn’t see in the darkness that it was a venomous snake. She was bitten!

After rushing his wife to the hospital, the farmer returned home with her. She had quite a fever. The farmer knew the best way to treat her fever was with chicken soup so he took his hatchet to the farmyard to get his main ingredient.

The wife grew sicker by the day and friends kept visiting her throughout the days and around the clock.

The farmer felt he had to feed them so he slaughtered the pig.

The farmer’s wife, unfortunately, didn’t get better and eventually died. There were many, many people who came to pay their final respects. The farmer had the cow butchered so he could feed them all.

The future of our children concerns us all. Your child is mine, and mine is yours.

All the children at your child’s school, church and community are also yours.

I’m inviting you, dad, to continue, or start getting together with other fathers in your community, church and school with the goal of supporting each other in being fathers that our children need in order to experience a secured, hopeful and altruistic present and future.