For some reason you have to call a thing what it is. If you are baking a cake, you can’t call it a cookie. If you are angry, you shouldn’t sugar coat it and say you are annoyed or upset. If there’s no alcohol in it, it’s not a cocktail. I can go on and on. We name things what they are because it helps us to mostly be on the same page. Its part of communication. Sure there are things out there, like Google, that call themselves what they became (if that makes any sense), and that’s a very cool accomplishment if you can pull it off. But in general we can’t do that. There are names of things that we make up for our kids’ things, like a “bobo” is a pacifier in some homes, but by the time our children are adults and having their own children they are calling it what it is. And didn’t Shakespeare famously write in Romeo and Juliet that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In other words, you can call a rose anything you want, it’s still a sweet smelling flower – it’s still a rose.
What the heck am I talking about? Like a man I go off on tangents (or so the wife says). I will bring it back full circle: it’s about wellness stupid. I had taken myself around the world over the ideas and concepts that make up Black Dad Connection, and called them all kinds of things, when at the end of the day it took a conversation with a couple of new friends to name it. I was explaining the BDC program and he said – “it sounds like a wellness organization to me.” I chuckled and realized he was right. This, in simplest terms, is a “wellness” organization for families by way of focusing on the overall wellness of dads. We are taking a whole-dad change approach, not just the tricks of the parenting trade or health tips. And we know and believe if dad is in a good and balanced, but not boring, place then the family unit likely will be as well. Or at least closer to it.
I have these occasional epiphanies and share them because it is part of a process. Nothing happens over night. My competence comes from my comfort in being me, being passionate, and being motivated to do this work, not from faking it. I’m a league or two away from being Geoff Canada, and I’m ok with that for now. A little patience goes a long way. Patience with persistence changes lives.