‘Black Stalin was one of the great calypsonians of the post- independence era. But, how many of us can recall the early chutney artistes whose melodious lyrics appealed to a wide cross-section of our society’
TODAY is Father’s Day and some of us see our fathers as heroes whilst others are scorned as ‘deadbeat’, ‘absent’ or simply labelled ‘a waste of time’.
It’s not only fathers who are seen as heroes or villains. Whenever sporting personalities, politicians, leaders, popular artistes die, some of us rush to apply the labels- ‘hero’, ‘icon’, ‘heroine’ or ‘legend’. Or we use words as ‘greatest of all time’. Then there are others who would argue differently and describe these same individuals as- evil, corrupt, racist or controversial.
In our recent past, when Queen Elizabeth II died there was an outpouring of praise but there were also voices who were critical of her reign especially during the evils of colonialism and apartheid.
Did we ask another fundamental question – was she a caring and affectionate mother? Likewise, Pele received many accolades in life and death for his football achievements. A question that many of us did not ask- was he a responsible and loving father to all his children?
Here in Trinidad and Tobago, we have our fair share of controversy as the court of public opinion loves to decide who is an icon, good heroine or bad hero.
Black Stalin was one of the great calypsonians of the post- independence era. But, how many of us can recall the early chutney artistes whose melodious lyrics appealed to a wide cross-section of our society.
The late Jennifer Johnson should be a role model for the present and future politicians. She had a certain flair and class that reflected the high value she placed on her political life. It’s a pity this former politician and her party (NAR) only served one term of office. She never descended into the ‘race talk’ and kept high standards in public life.
What about heroes and heroines among the ethnic minorities? Ask citizens to name some heroes in T&T who are of Syrian, Lebanese, Chinese or Jewish descent.
Students would have blank expressions if they were asked to list any heroes or outstanding personalities of British, French or Spanish descent in T&T in the 20th or 21st Centuries. There is a popular song Champion by a popular cricketer and he lists some of his champions who are role models.
It’s obvious he omitted many champions. What about the humble, caring fathers in our world? Are they champions? Heroes?
There is a father crisis that is being experienced across T&T and the rest of the world. Throughout the year, we need to recognise the valuable roles of fathers.
Too often it’s only on Father’s Day that we appreciate and recognize our fathers. Let us remember those fathers who defended countries and fought for democracy. Let us remember those fathers who defended countries and fought for democracy.
Many fathers make quiet sacrifices, on a daily basis, to maintain their families and communities. Some fathers are not aware of their serious roles and responsibilities to maintain peace, cordial relations and discipline in the home and society.
The good and great fathers are in danger of becoming extinct. Great fathers should not be classified as great or heroes because they have a good voice, breaking records, winning an election, earning a big salary, winning awards, being popular.
True greatness in fatherhood and motherhood is the love for humanity. True greatness is embracing fellow citizens irrespective of their ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, class or geographical location.
Dr Jerome Teelucksingh is an activist. He initiated the inaugural observances of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Men and Boys (January 31) and World Day of the Boy Child (May 16). He has made academic presentations at tertiary institutions including Harvard University and Oxford University.
See other articles by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh on AZP News: