Fatherhood

This is an old picture of my brother and his son. I like it because of the expressions on their faces – the one so puzzled and innocent, full of question and promise, the other patient, loving, full of care.

People sometimes joke at work and refer to me as “the daddy.” It’s true, in the sense that people want to know that someone is looking out for them, will make sure that nothing bad happens, and that food and toys and heat during the long and cold winter months will just be there, with no effort or knowledge on their part. Theirs is to labor and play, not to worry about where all of that is coming from.
And that’s as it should be. Even in an open enterprise as ours, where decisions are made through a Sense of the Meeting, every social group needs a mother and a father, and I make no reference to gender roles in that. All groups need a present and palatable nurturing, and an unseen – and to a large extent, unfelt (save in its absence) – source of strength.

I make no claim as to know how government might provide both of these, though it seems critical that it does.

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