Yup, that’s right! If you happen to see my dad today make sure you wish him a happy 66th birthday!
As the title suggests, my dad is definitely my hero. During the standardized tests we were required to take in elementary and high school, my dad was often the subject of choice for me, mostly because there are plenty of great things I can say about my dad and I never ran out of material since there always seemed to be a new example of his sacrifices and dedication to being a parent.
I have no problem writing about what my dad means to me, but I have a terrible time verbalizing it. Without going into any crazy detail or anything personal, I’ll say that the main reason I love my dad so much, and why he is my hero, is that he never discouraged me or tried to hold me back from any goal. He did not put a limit on my abilities, nor did he treat me any differently or love me any less because I’m a girl. This is something that perhaps I took for granted, especially after hearing stories from other family members and friends. Many children from the 80’s were still the product of a perpetual mindset that women were not meant to be leaders, adventurers, or even just powerful.
The daughters of many powerful leaders or wealthy businessmen are even lessened to objects, and even they don’t mind. Many daughters are told there are only so many careers they are able to pursue because only men can handle being leaders. Girls played with dolls and pink things; I found dolls creepy and the color pink atrocious. I preferred to play baseball, go fishing, build things, and watch movies that were primarily marketed towards boys. My dad didn’t mind. He let me be myself, no matter how weird or un-girly my interests were.
The world needs to see more fathers like my dad. Girls and boys should be free to make their own mistakes, discover their own interests and not be bound to any activity, hobby, or job simply because their parents choose to guide them in a way that is deemed gender-appropriate by society. My dad may not know it yet, but he really is the embodiment of Gandhi’s famous quote about being the change you wish to see in the world. But in his case, he is the change we need to see in the world.