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Being a father is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, experiences that a man can have. It is a role that takes total commitment. It's shaping young people's lives. Young people's wellbeing is at stake. Children only have one shot at childhood, having a great father can make that childhood great, and will help them transition into adulthood.
A father, just like a mother, has a very deep relationship with his children.
"My Father was and continues to be the only man I have ever continuously placed on a pedestal," Dr. Charles P Loeb III said. "He was my only hero. All these years thereafter I consistently make an effort to reach what I consider to be my impression of the level of his accomplishment. We were each other's pride and joy and he was indeed a role model for Black men everywhere. I am the man I am because of his profound and continuing influence on my life. Period."
Dr. Loeb is a father himself. Like all fathers, he has gone through the ups and downs, the exciting and tiring moments. It was all to give his daughter the best chance possible to be a successful adult.
"Fatherhood has been the single most difficult and challenging educational experience of my lifetime," Dr. Loeb said. "Simultaneously, It has also been by far the most rewarding. The greatest joy of my life has been the opportunity to proudly visualize the maturation of my daughter into fully responsible and productive citizenship."
Being a father in today's society is different from in the past. The dynamics are different, but the role is just as important.
"I have purposely chosen to spend more quality time with my child than did my father with me," Dr. Loeb said. "The times have changed quite dramatically since my childhood. In my day, fathers were expected to primarily provide financial stability for the family and not much else. We now know that so much more is needed and if he were alive today, I am certain he would be proud of the many shifts in gender roles I have undergone in this regard."
Aaron Crutison Jr. also has been strongly influenced by his father. The UC Riverside student greatly appreciates the role that his father has played in his life.
"As a young African American male, the presence of a having a father in my life not only to provide for me, but to care for me as well has proven to be beneficial to my life," Crutison said. "Having my father there to guide me in the correct direction of life and on the road to becoming a man has helped me achieved many goals in life thus far."
Like Dr. Loeb's father helped shape him into the father he is today, Crutison believes that the guidance that his father gives him will allow him to be a great father as well.
"I have no doubt that the relationship that I have with my father and the knowledge that he has instilled in me will help me become an extremely good parent," Crutison said. "If anything, it will help me strive to become even a better parent than he is, if possible, because the bar has been set so high."
The most important role a man will ever have is being a father. It is an inspiring experience to have a great father, and it is a rewarding experience to be a great father.