By Jim Frazier
“DNA does not make a dad. It’s not about biology,” said a nurse named Mary at Northern Colorado Medical Center. “If the dad treats the mother with respect, then the children respect the mom, and she’s happy. She trusts the man and feels secure. The greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother and treat their mother with respect. Everything else follows.”
Another nurse who had divorced her husband painted a darker picture. “My son says he would never treat his wife badly, but he treats his wife just like his dad treated me, and I eventually divorced my husband. My own son doesn’t realize that he is hurting his wife by not respecting her.”
An Iranian mother of two children echoed the same feeling. “Respect,” she said. Raised in Iran, in the Persian culture, she lived in Greeley since 1995. She says the two cultures are different. “In an Islamic family, the man is definitely the boss of the house,” she said. “He’s the master. As father, he makes decisions for everyone, on everything. It’s kinda like a king. But in the American culture, decisions are more 50-50, husband and wife. They share. But in either culture, the man must show respect to the wife to be a good father, and husband.”
“Let me tell you something about Iranian culture,” said Farzin, a former pilot and airport controller in the Iranian Air Force. “We celebrated father’s day and mother’s day for thousands of years before America was even created. The word ‘papa’ is from our language. We place high value on the role of a father, and the mother. On Father’s Day, everybody goes to their father’s house to honor their father. They kiss his hand with respect and offer a special gift of thanks. They celebrate their father’s life. If the father is dead, they go to his grave if possible. He is never forgotten. Also, on Father’s Day, the father is expected to give advice to each child regarding the future of their life. Most of the day is spent in the father’s home listening to his advice. No restaurant. No going out to eat. Father’s day is very important in the Iranian culture. It is a day of thanks, and on that day, the father sows seeds for the future of each child.”
Patricia Brim, a CNA at NCMC, grew up in Guatemala without knowing her biological father. “Cultures are very similar about fathers,” she said. She believes that an adoptive father can be better than a biological dad. “A good father in any land, in any language is the same. He loves and respects your mother, and loves you unconditionally. And if you are a girl, he treats you like a princess,” she said with a smile.
Nurse Mary said young men need to think ahead. “To be a real man is not based on the number of children one creates, or the beers one can drink, it is measured by how good you are to the mother.” She has studied the Jordanian culture headed today by a queen who at one time was a Colorado “ski bum”. “Queen Noor, the first American born queen of an Arab country, actually has transformed the Jordanian culture by teaching men to respect their wives and boys to respect their mother. Look at nations where women are respected as leaders: Israel with Goldie Maier, England with Margaret Thatcher. When women are respected, life goes better for everyone. In cultures where women are oppressed, the quality of life goes bad for everyone,” Mary said.
Nurse Mary waxed philosophical. “Doesn’t matter what culture you are talking about. Marriage is about sharing your soul. In a loving relationship, the man nurtures the woman’s soul, and the woman nurtures the man’s soul. If the father doesn’t nurture the woman’s soul, she can’t trust him, and intimacy is lost. Once the intimacy is lost, the marriage can’t be rewarding. For fathers, the legacy you leave is how well you loved the mother and how much security and trust you created in the family. That is what is passed on to the next generation, to your children and to your grandchildren. Those feelings and values are way more important than your DNA.”
Queen Noor’s website www.noor.gov.jo/