As we celebrate on this date the Father’s Day, we have the chance to think about the fatherhood and, more in general, we can take some time to reflect on the relationships we live, build and loose in our experience.
Everyone of us made the experience of parenthood. As sons and daughters of somebody, we feel we are a part of a story. We are in a flowing process of life transmission. No matter if we received good or bad stuff from our parents; no matter if they took care of us or if they ignored us, it is a fact we all are sons of our parents.
And it is a fact that, growing up, becoming adult means also that we choose to follow (or not to) the footprints of those who were there before us, adapting their experience to our actual situations, accepting some suggestions, inspirations,…
In a way, despite the familiar and genetic bonds, everyone of us can easily state that we are sons and daughters of more than a single individual. A teacher, a loving grandmother, an aunt, a friend, a colleague, a professor, a writer, a philosopher who died 2,400 years ago, a commercial, a movie, a fashion trend…
This day puts the light on a neverending question: “Who am I”? The issue of clearly defining our roots and our identity, raises.
One of the temptations of our life is to believe that we are just our social roles. Actually, we are much more than that.
Of course, we can live our being sons, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, colleagues, students, teachers, sempai, kohai, black belts, white belts as a role. But we would miss the hidden treasure that this day helps to reveal again: the capability for everyone, at every time, to make life flow and emerge, to revitalize everything, to make relationships fruitful and alive.
We often claim “we are one”. We practice a discipline that may help feeling humankind as a whole family. Maybe some of us believe in faiths that state we are all sons and daughters of a merciful heavenly Father.
But, if we step back to our duty of transmitting life in every gesture, in every word, in every relationship, we fail from our essential duty. We are no longer sons, we are no longer fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers. Our belief is hollow, our practice is a schizophrenic attempt to put on another mask.
We step back into individualism.
Rather, we all are called to a higher level. Recognizing our fatherhood as a mission, as the purpose of our life.
I know that all such statements may sound an attempt to rationalize all those situations in which life brings us some discomfort. We all experience painful situations in which relationships don’t work as we would like.
And some people -including me- who don’t have the access to physical parenthood could set themselves in a kind of “mental shelter”: by thinking they can act as parents in their daily situations, they somehow deny the pain, just ignoring it.
Our practice, our humble daily practice on the mat, make us growing only if we embrace the truth that lies beneath every fall, every technique that went wrong.
That is the trigger for a better technique, the event that unlocks the capability to rise again and again and again. In a word, the key to transmit life is to accept that we pass through sterile fields.
There is someone, in our personal history, who embodies for us that concept of humanity we would like to share, to become. There is someone, in our personal history, who fascinated us for the strength he lived through all the problems an all the beauties that life offered him.
That’s our father. Like star trails that mark the night witnessing outer and deeper space, we are called to let the light of our lives shine. Transmitting and communicating the beauty of life.