Being Great – the Fathers We Have and the Fathers We Can Be

Photo: Nisha A/Flickr

This guest post was written by Boris


In Camry’s new ad campaign for their famous family sedan, fathers are in the spotlight. Camry chooses to elevate excellent fathers, and the children the produce. These ads profile athletes and their fathers, and the stories are both interesting and moving.

I enjoyed hearing famous NFL players talk about their dads. In all cases, these men lived much simpler lives than their famous sons. Usually working class men, these fathers had a variety of personalities. Some were affectionate and supportive, others much more emotionally reserved. In one case, the man wasn’t what we would refer to as a “good father”.

But in every case, the quality of the man gave perspective on fatherhood to his son. One player recalls watching his father, a double-amputee, climbing ladders to clean out the gutters on their little house. This wasn’t a glamorous job, and it certainly wasn’t meant to impress, but the image stuck in the child’s mind. He remembers thinking that if a man with two prosthetic legs can climb a ladder to clean out gutters, then there’s nothing that he (the son) can’t do.

Another man remembers his dad who was hard to please. In his success, he has had a breakthrough moment with his father, where his affections finally came through. In his relationship with his own children, the athlete has made a point to always be emotionally present and even vulnerable with his kids.

In what may be the most moving profile at all, Amy Purdy’s father is interviewed. He watched his daughter lose both of her legs and kidneys, in tragic circumstances. He also watched her accomplish more on two prosthetics than she ever did before. This turns the tables in the ad series, showing us a father inspired by his daughter, but the message is the same. Choose to be great, to your kids, to you parents. It’s not always something that’s innate. For a lot of us, it takes work and attention and progress, but we can all be great fathers to our kids, one step at a time.

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