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Color Them Fathers: Lessons in Love and Guidance

By Jordan Matthew Lawton 

Presented by Omni-U Virtual University 



Often, when we think of mentors, the immediate thought is probably someone who is not only a teacher, but also someone whom you aspire to be like when you grow up. On the flip side, there are also protectors and when you think of protectors, your immediate thought is someone who not only supports and keeps you safe but also, someone in whom you can confide to make sure that everything is okay. Now, let’s take those two different concepts and really put them into perspective. 


Imagine growing up around someone - or a number of people- who are the epitome of both mentors and protectors. For me, that was what it was like growing up with a multitude of mentors and protectors - male and female family members, older  fraternity brothers,etc.- who served as father figures.


Within the realm of parenthood, the profound impact of fatherhood  transcends mere biology. Beyond bloodlines, these extraordinary individuals step forward, driven by love and a deep sense of responsibility. In their embrace, they offer unwavering support, nurture dreams, and provide guidance that shapes lives in immeasurable ways. In this heartfelt article, we embark on an authentic journey to explore the profound love and guidance woven by my many "fathers". 


At a young age, I didn’t fully realize the true value of having a father in my life given the fact that my biological father wasn't around for most of mine. Even in his absence, it didn't immediately  cross my mind that he was "mentoring"- teaching me valuable  lessons about fatherhood. He taught  me that, even from a distance, a father could still serve whether through regular child support payments or by demonstrating how the decisions you make as a father affect not only your children but other people as well. There was never a moment that I disliked him for the things he did or did not do or the unexplained reason why he was not available to me. But, as I grew older, I realized that he provided another lesson in fatherhood that would benefit me in years to come.


It never occurred to me that  “father” is a word that is not only applicable to men but also to women. Now,as a young adult, my definition of “father” has changed so much, to the point where there is no limit to the number of words that describe the people in my life who are “fathers” to me.  Over the years, I have learned that the boundaries of love can be redefined because, in my experience, there have been no boundaries. My real fathers have been my shoulders to cry on, my biggest advocates-  the people to whom I go for guidance and wisdom- the ones who have taught me in many different ways including, but not limited to, unconditional love. Furthermore, I think it goes without saying that the "fathers" in my life are the embodiment of everything I aspire to be.  


For my mother and uncles, specifically, I remember the many moments during my childhood, and to this day, when they fathered me. In fact, they are still fathering and nurturing me as an adult. There is not a moment in my 22 years of living when I am not learning something new from one or all of them. In addition, I have recognized and acknowledged fathers in other family members. They are true pillars of strength- heroes in their own right who embody selflessness, sacrifice, and a deep love for our family. One of the most important things that I hope to gain and pass on, from them to my own children, includes a number of unlimited teachings. 


I have been so blessed by God with the opportunity to have amazing teachers who also understand the importance of what it means to parent a child in the way in which he should grow. As a mentor and protector- in- training under their apprenticeship, I believe that I will reach the magnitude of full “fatherhood” in the next few years with their continued support, further guidance, and unquestionable love.


Happy Fathers' Day!

Your Grateful Son, Jordan 


Recommended Listening 


Recommended Viewing 


This program can also

be viewed on  CAN-TV, Channel 19, Friday, June 9th @ 8:30PM. It will be repeated Sunday, June 11th @ 3:30PM.

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