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16 November, 2008

WHY MEN AND INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY ARE IMPORTANT: D.A. SEARS, Managing Editor - IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)



The World needs Men. Men are the key architects of our bridge to the future. And our children are our future – our bridge to the future. Yes, Men ARE necessary. Every day in their usual unassuming way, Men offer each of us valuable life lessons. Life lessons about honor – that one’s word should be one’s bond. If you say you are going to do something, then you must do what you say you are going to do and then do it – no excuse . . . no complaints. Just go about the business of delivering what you have promised.

Men offer life lessons about sacrifice. Quietly and unceremoniously, Men who are Fathers throughout our global village place their own personal dreams on a shelf, and work at back-breaking, spirit-numbing, and for many – very dangerous jobs -- so that their children can have access to economic and educational opportunities that they themselves could only dream of. Men will walk through fire for their children, if that is what it takes to keep food on the table for them, a roof over their head, and clothes on their backs. Many of these Men – after completing a grueling day at work, return home and play an active role not only in the positive emotional, intellectual and psychological development of their own children, but also mentor other children and serve as coaches of neighborhood basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and hockey teams. And when asked by their country to serve in their nation’s military and defend their country in an armed conflict thousands of miles away from their families, Men quietly and unceremoniously answer the call, not knowing whether they will return to the families they are leaving behind. Sadly, a number of these men never return. These men have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have given their lives in defense of their country.


Men are a family’s liaison to the world that exists outside of the family’s immediate environment. As a result, they offer very valuable life lessons on how one should navigates the world that exists outside of one’s environment – for example, the worlds of business and politics.


Our sons need Fathers. Men help the young males of our society successfully navigate the journey from childhood to manhood. It takes a man to teach a boy how to be a man. It takes a Man to provide our sons with the positive affirmation that only a Father can give –positive affirmation that our sons so desperately seek and need to receive from an adult male. It takes a Man to prepare the young males of our society for their future roles as husbands, fathers, and productive members of our global village once they reach the age of maturity. A young man’s relationship with his father determines, to a large degree, how he will raise his own children.


Our daughters need Fathers. Fathers shape our daughters’ first images of men. Fathers shape the decisions that our daughters make when choosing a career and choosing a mate. Fathers shape our daughters perception of their self-worth and their place in the world. It takes a Man to provide our daughters with the positive affirmation that only a Father can give – positive affirmation that our daughters so desperately seek and need to receive from an adult male. A young woman’s relationship with her father determines, to a large degree, how she will raise her own children.


Men are the glue that holds our families, our communities, and our world together.


Yet despite the exemplary honor and selfless sacrifices, many Men throughout our global village feel voiceless . . . powerless . . . unappreciated . . . and without options. No one should be made to feel that what they have to say is not important. No one should be made to feel that they are without options.


This feeling of voicelessness and powerlessness has created a set of circumstances throughout our global village which have made the creation of an International Men’s Day necessary. International Men’s Day which was first proposed in 1999 by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev at a United Nations Conference in Vienna, Austria will be observed worldwide on 19 November 2008 thanks to Warwick Marsh, the Founder of Australia’s Fatherhood Foundation (WEBSITE: www.fatherhood.org.au and E-MAIL: info@fatherhood.org.au) and a Fathers’ Rights Advocate.


“Honor and Sacrifice” has been designated by Mr. Marsh as the theme for International Men’s Day 2008 which will be observed on Wednesday, 19 November 2008.


So, why has 19 November 2008 been selected as the worldwide observance for International Men’s Day? Mr. Marsh, who is coordinating the worldwide observance of International Men’s Day, points to United States President Abraham Lincoln who delivered the Gettysburg address on 19 November 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at a critical time in America’s history. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address called for the honoring and remembrance of the contributions of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – during America’s Civil War. In 2008, Warwick Marsh is calling for an honoring and remembrance of the contributions and sacrifices of Men and Fathers in every part of the world on International Men’s Day –19 November 2008. And I am echoing Warwick Marsh’s call for an honoring and remembrance of the contributions and sacrifices of Men and Fathers in every part of the world on International Men’s Day – 19 November 2008.


I am asking Men, Fathers, Women, Mothers, Fatherhood Practitioners, Fatherhood organizations, and Fathers’ Rights advocates in the United States to join with Men, Fathers, Women, Mothers, Fatherhood Practitioners, Fatherhood organizations and Fathers’ Rights advocates in Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and Africa in observing International Men’s Day on 19 November 2008. I am asking Men, Fathers, Women, Mothers, Fatherhood Practitioners, Fatherhood organizations and Fathers’ Rights Advocates in the United States to bring their key “pieces of the puzzle” to positively shaping the minds and souls of our children – our future – our bridge to the future -- to the Table of Humanity.



I am asking that we use International Men’s Day as an opportunity to work together in a spirit of collaboration to bring about the establishment of an Office of Men’s health within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. I am asking that we use International Men’s Day as an opportunity to work together in a spirit of collaboration to create resources and support services that will assist Men – the key architects of our bridge to the future – our children -– in empowering and strengthening our families, our communities and our world.



International Men’s Day is our opportunity to create a better world for our children – our future – our bridge to the future – and our children’s children.



After all, isn’t it really about our children?

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