Monday, April 19, 2010
For my Dad
Today is my Dad's birthday. I did the above illustration as a gift. I've made my parents handmade cards since I was a kid and it looks as though I always will.
My dad does volunteer tax work. He helps folks who can't afford a tax accountant or who need that extra help to navigate the labyrinth of tax codes in order to maximize their credits and benefits.
It's interesting. I look at my dad and see all that he has achieved in the world of business. He created a life of comfort for our family as a result of hard work, keen instincts and a lot of luck.
I see so many men of his generation though, and when they'd attained the success my father achieved, they retreated into a world of material possessions and narrow minded convictions.
But my father isn't like that. He's different. In his retirement, he's gone back to school and committed countless hours to volunteer tax work. He's taken classes at his local college because he believes the world is an infinite place of wonder and no joy in life can replace the joy of knowledge. He does volunteer work because of his faith, and it's not a blind dogmatic faith, but a faith that believes we should always put up a fight against the darkness of our world despite humanity's immeasurable faults.
Maybe when he's doing tax returns for poor families, he remembers the times his family was broke and he had to live in an apartment with his grandparents, Irish immigrants from Galway. He knows that the slings and arrows of life can be random and senseless and that the last thing you should ever do is judge. When I was a young boy, he told me never to call anyone a 'loser'. I've never forgotten that. It's all because he knows, despite the success he attained, the last thing on earth anyone should ever do, is wall himself against the world around him and do nothing. And this is why he does tax returns for poor people.
So when I see the Tea Parties, and all the financially comfortable fat white people exhibitionistically whoring themselves into this nonsensical victim-discourse, wanting to 'take their country back', I think of my father. He's a man who's bold enough to say that despite the mountains he's conquered, he doesn't have all the answers and that maybe, the best thing to do is go back to the trenches, suspend judgement, and fight for the little guy.
Love you, dad.