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By Nev Schulman
I used to think of Father’s Day as a sort of lame excuse to get my dad a card and a gift, but now that I’m going to be a father, I’m thinking about it more. While I don’t have any plans this Father’s Day (and will be filming Catfish), I am asking myself: What’s the significance behind this Hallmark holiday of BBQ grills, neck ties and power drills? What does it really mean to be a dad?
Perhaps the answer is as simple as how I feel going into this Father’s Day. For the first time, I feel concern and worry for someone more than myself. My daughter’s not born yet, but l already feel a responsibility toward her, a responsibility to show her that she is as capable as any other woman and equal to any man. That she is part of a global community of human beings who have more similarities with each other than differences.
After all, it’s impossible to separate my feelings about Father’s Day from last week’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando. I feel the responsibility to raise my child with values of love, acceptance and compassion, with morals and the confidence to stand up for herself. I want her to speak out against hate and stand up for people who are disadvantaged. Going into my first Father’s Day, I feel much more of a social responsibility to myself and to my unborn daughter to be the parent who sets an example like we should all be setting for ourselves and our children every day.
Dads, what are we going to do with a drill? A tie clip? Nothing. I’d rather have my daughter not worry about getting shot at a night club or raped at college.
The very best Father’s Day gift I can imagine is if every other father put the time, patience, energy and love into ensuring their children are kind, loving people so I don’t have to worry about my daughter growing up in a generation filled with hate and fear.
I wish it went without saying, but with so much violence and anger in our country, my fingers are crossed that I have a daughter for every Father’s Day, and that she has me. I think being together with my daughter sounds like the most precious way to celebrate this Father’s Day and all of them to come.