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Embrace this One Thing and Thrive in Canada

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This piece is about my dad, and more…

I know.

How today’s not Father’s Day, and all that.

I know there are probably a thousand and one things to talk about.

Issues of life.

Issues that affect the Immigrant community… in Canada

But…

Nobody needs a special day to be celebrated.

Not a husband, wife, son, daughter, dad, mom…

So today,

I choose a double-edged sword:

Dad and Forgiveness.

Here goes…

Dad, I love you and will continue to do so.

You gave me a chance at life else I won’t be here today.

You fought to keep me alive in the face of diseases and sicknesses.

You taught me to work hard, provide for my family and protect them.

You enshrined in me the essence and value of education, not just schooling.

You raised many fathers and mothers under our roof.

Yet did not differentiate us from others.  To you, everyone is the same and is as valuable.

You saw the ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’ through school, even university education for those who wanted it.

You taught me to read and created memories of reading for me.

During midterm breaks, I would go to Oxford University Press where you worked and spend my day at the library until you closed for the day.

You took me on road trips, and I still cherish those memories.

I recall how you would stop driving, look for a safe place and park to catch a nap when on trips.

You demonstrated how much of my life, your life and that of others you valued whenever you did that.

You and mum created an open door at our home.

Everyone was welcomed and every visitor had to be fed even if those were our last meal at home.

You taught me and my siblings how to build a business case for whatever we needed.

And negotiate what we wanted.

You would ensure we wrote down a list of what we wanted and negotiated the items or the quantity with you.

I recall your pen – red or green, I don’t remember that now, but I knew what they meant on our lists.

I learned how to keep calm in the middle of chaos, just by observing you.

Like me, you were not perfect.

You took decisions that I allowed to hurt me needlessly.

And I put myself in a mental jail for years until I learned to let go.

I lacked understanding on a lot of things as a young man.

This morning, I came across a post in a professional forum that I belong to where an admin made a post asking people to forgive their fathers.

Life takes on a new feeling of freedom when you drop off all mental weights.

That reminded me of my past.

The post triggered lots of mixed responses but a few that stood out for me are below:

“No way!”

“I won’t forgive him. Never!”

“Forgive that devil? Never!”

Mmmh. What could lead a child to see his father as a devil?

I will never know but for anyone who reads this, if you have a hurt against your father, let it go.

Forgive.

Please move past the hurt.

Your father doesn’t need to ask for forgiveness.

Your father does not need to be remorseful.

Your father does not even need to be alive.

Just let go.

It’s more about YOU than him.

Life takes on a new feeling of freedom when you drop off all mental weights.

All mental weights!

Unforgiveness is a huge weight. Discard it!

And when you do, you’ll experience a new lease of life!

Embrace forgiveness.

For you newcomer, now’s a chance to start life afresh.

Cheers to celebration!

Cheers to a new life!

Share your story of forgiveness with us in the community.


Written by Dapo Bankole.
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