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Dad’s Empty Chair — The Meaning of Fatherlessness

Yesterday’s edition of The New York Times includes an interesting opinion column by Bob Herbert entitled, “Dad’s Empty Chair.” Herbert writes with passion and insight about the problem of fatherlessness and what the absence of a father means. He looks back at the death of young Christopher Rose, the boy recently killed over an iPod, and relates the concern of Christopher’s father to protect him from the evils he knew would come for his son. Take a look at these excerpts and then read the entire article:
“I was trying to hide him away from all this violence,” Mr. Rose said yesterday. “I knew that someday, somehow, somebody was going to approach him and try to hurt him.”
There are plenty of youngsters who grow up fine without a father in the home. But that’s not a good argument in favor of fatherlessness. Most of the youngsters getting into trouble and preying on others come from fatherless homes, as Mr. Rose pointed out. “There’s no one out there,” he said, “to tell them: ‘Hello! Wake up. You guys have to stop doing what you’re doing.’ “
Kids who grow up without a father never experience that special sense of security and the enhanced feeling of belonging that come from having a father in the home. So they seek it elsewhere. They don’t get that sweet feeling of triumph that comes from a father’s approval, or the warmth of the old man’s hug, or the wisdom to be drawn from his discipline.