henrymakow.com — June 17, 2018
Sunday is Father’s Day
Should a father be his son’s friend or keep him “on track”? Are these mutually exclusive?
Are fathers on track themselves?
by Henry Makow Ph.D. — (Updated from 2011)
He overcame many obstacles. His parents were murdered by the Nazis when he was 19. He survived the war, became a physicist and built a new life. He is 94 now. I salute him on Father’s Day.
He was always a father, never a friend. Many believe that fathers should not be friends. “It is the job of parents to see that the [societal] barriers hold,” W. Cleon Skousen writes in “So You Want to Raise a Boy?” (1958, p.232)
My father saw his role as keeping me “on track.” Since his success was based on higher education, “on track” meant keeping me in school.
I was not allowed to get off the treadmill. Despite the fact I had written a syndicated newspaper column at age 11, he never believed in me or my good intentions. He always treated me like a loose cannon.
After high school, I wanted to work in a mine. Then, I planned to go to an out-of-town university known for its radical leftist professors. (I was a Lefty back then.)
My father exerted great pressure, including the inducement of the old family car, to make me enroll at the local university at once. I succumbed and fell into a clinical depression. I only completed three of five courses with poor marks.
My spirit broken, I ended up staying at university, at first as a kind of hospice, and finally getting a Ph.D.
On another occasion, I wanted to use the family cottage as a spiritual retreat like Thoreau’s Walden Pond. Again, no deal. Get your thesis done.