The Importance of Fatherhood
Fatherhood is the most important job that any of us—including the President of the United States or the CEO of the world’s largest company—will ever have. It is the only role in life for which we are truly indispensible. Our futures, our family and our entire society depend on the job we do as a dad.
“I would never have become half the man I am without the help, the support and the leadership of my dad. He taught me how to be a real man.”
Dave H., Boston Massachusetts
Somehow, much of our society has forgotten this simple fact that Bill Cosby has expressed so well in the above quote. Down through history, men have gotten great joy from being good fathers, and society has directly benefited. Fatherhood has always been one of the cornerstones of civilization. In fact, many of the most serious social issues our society wrestles with (from adult illiteracy to teenage pregnancy to increasing rates of chronic unemployment, drug abuse and mental illness) stem directly from the breakdown of fatherhood.
The statistics are abundantly clear: Children who grow up without fathers are two to three times more likely to spend time in jail, drop out of school, fail to ever hold down a long-term job, suffer from a severe mental illness, or become addicted to drugs or alcohol. And they are three to four times more likely to bear children out of wedlock themselves . . . and thus continue the cycle of social devastation that threatens our society.
Of course, the presence or absence of a good mother is also critically important in the life of every child. While I do not want to downplay the extraordinary importance of mothers, this book is dedicated to men just like you—men who want to be strong and noble fathers for their families, and have fun doing it. I share that goal with you, and an exciting one it is! We are on a journey—you and I—and it won’t be completed this side of eternity. Becoming a good father is like running a marathon; it takes time, dedication and perseverance. In addition, like all significant journeys, we will never arrive if we don’t know where we are going. The fact that we share an important goal—to be strong and noble fathers—is an excellent start.