Remembrance of the Dead
The first Father’s Day greeting was not likely the one we use today. A 1907 mining accident in Monongah West Virginia marks the first celebration. The day honored the hundreds of fathers lost in this tragic event. I would imagine this was a solemn day where mothers and children grieved together. The Father’s Day idea then moved in the YMCA in Spokane, Washington championed by a daughter of a civil war soldier. Neither early attempts to honor fathers after their passing resembles the way we celebrate today.
Capitalism Takes Over the Celebration
Every great American movement turns into a money-maker. Father’s Day was co-opted by the New York Merchants Association in the 1930s to sell more menswear. This day became the second-best man-focused shopping event of the year. President Johnson made the first proclamation to honor fathers 1966 and President Nixon made it a permanent national holiday in 1972. As momentum for celebrating fathers grew, sporting events jump on the bandwagon with car racing, basketball, and golf using the occasion to indulge fathers in top talent offerings.
This new century has brought many changes to social norms. The title “Father” was once reserved as a singular person for every child is no longer correct. Blended families, gay couples, multigenerational families, adoption, and the list go on of what is the family and who is the father. Gender is no longer considered binary making this whole notion masculinity and femininity up for interpretation.
The New Normal
Why should we not celebrate these men who are giving of themselves every day? COVID-19 has millions of men working from home, parenting, and homeschooling children as the new normal. Thirty-nine percent of today’s caregivers are male according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP’s, report “Caregiving in the USA, 2020.” Fifty-three million of us identify as unpaid caregivers which is one in five Americans. We also know that today’s caregivers come from every generation including teenagers who are caring for parents or grandparents. Young adults assuming the roles of power of attorney and medical advocate for grandparents.
Renaming this Important Day
With all the new concepts of the 21st Century, I propose that we use Father’s Day as a celebration for all the men who care for others. I propose this new name “Happy Guys Who Love Day.” Ok, it needs some work. Not ready for printing on shirts or mugs let alone for greeting cards. I am certain some clever marketing teams can give this day the makeover it deserves. Regardless of the name, please take some time to thank all the men in your life. Happy Day to All.
About Credit For Caring
Credit For Caring aims to recover some of your time and energy with our care management tools and resources. We believe that preserving human dignity and independence rank as the highest human aspiration despite any physical limitations that beset us. Our healthcare team believes in proactive planning for life’s what if’s.
We have partnered with Medline Industries on CreditForCaring. Medline is a healthcare leader for the products used in hospitals and at home for aging in place. Our partnership enables us to offer you the best discounts on wellness and aging in place products delivered directly to your door. Our Credit For Caring team is dedicated to supporting you as you care for yourself and others.