What would we do without our dads?

THANKS, DAD: Mr Liu (second from left) - seen here with his (from left) brother, father, stepmother, cousin and cousin's wife - lost his mother at a young age. His dad raised him and his brother single-handedly, making them closer than most.


    Jun 13, 2014

    What would we do without our dads?

    MY DAD is an amazing dichotomy.

    He is your very Asian businessman kind of dad, but he is also the kind of guy that says "I love you", hugs you and cries at his son's wedding.

    He is old-school in so many ways, but always surprises me with how new-school hip he is. Not in the freaky mid-life crisis kind of way, though, just to be clear.

    Ever since my brother and I were young, a weekly Saturday-morning occurrence was Dad barging into our bedrooms, shaking the cold water off his hands onto our sleepy faces.

    This was to get us up to play tennis or go for a run. (He still kind of does this, minus the water sprinkles).

    With a dad like that, you shouldn't be surprised that most of my childhood was spent with him in the great outdoors.

    There was a lot of swimming, trekking, boating, snorkelling, tennis, and visits to the beaches.

    It was only later in life that I learnt that he was teaching my brother and me precious life lessons and values through the years.

    Because we were young, Dad would always outrun us, outplay us on the tennis court and obliterate us in any racket game.

    We learnt perseverance. We learnt that we needed to be strong. We learnt about sportsmanship, playing fair, losing gracefully. We learnt about teamwork, training and discipline.

    Throughout, he would always say that he was looking forward to the day when we would outrun him, when we would be stronger than he was.

    It was through this that I learnt that he loved us deeply and had high hopes of us. His aspirations for us, and the time and energy he spent on his two young sons, made all the difference.

    This difference of having a father who is present is exceedingly crucial in society today.

    The media provides insane role models and standards for young people to strive towards.

    Social media dictates identity, values and worldviews and we all know it's wrong.

    Even without children of my own, the horrific uptrend in digital online addiction and influence is so apparent.

    When it's my turn to raise children of my own, I will adopt my father's approach. They will learn from my life experiences, my stories and my strength. My children's identity, values and self-worth will be forged at home, not online.

    That said, the online world isn't all bad. It does provide a platform for positive and constructive causes.

    The Family is one of my causes.

    Having lost my mother to cancer at a young age, I watched my dad take that blow and soldier on to raise us, all on his own. It took grit, tears and amazing tenacity to play the role of father and mother. Through that crucible the three of us went, and we have come through stronger and closer than most.

    So I know how precious family is, and I am committed to my role as a son, a brother and a council member of Families For Life (FFL) to build my own family and to create initiatives and a culture that focus on building strong families.

    I'm looking forward to the "365-approach" that FFL is taking to encourage family members to spend more time with each other, beyond those special festive occasions.

    With so much content online (on the FFL site and Facebook page), you will find loads of ideas and resources out there to make Father's Day on Sunday a special one.

    Our fathers aren't perfect, but if you reflect just a little bit, you'd realise how much dad has sacrificed for the family, and much of who you are (the good parts) is because of him.

    I love you, Dad. You are the strongest person I know.

    Happy Father's Day to all the amazing dads out there.


    The writer is single and a council member of Families For Life (FFL).