Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fatherless and feeling like "throwaway people"

Via Gina Dalfonzo at The Point, Juan Williams writes about The Tragedy of America's Disappearing Fathers (Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2008).

Williams quotes author Walter Dean Myers, who sometimes holds writing workshops in juvenile detention centers, and so has listened to, as well as read, the tales of many young people who don't know their fathers:

When fatherless young people are encouraged to write about their lives, they tell heartbreaking stories about feeling like "throwaway people." In the privacy of the written page, their hard, emotional shells crack open to reveal the uncertainty that comes from not knowing if their father has any interest in them. The stories are like letters to unknown dads – some filled with imaginary scenes about what it might be like to have a dad who comes home and puts his arm around you or plays with you.

They feel like they've been thrown away, Mr. Myers says, because "they don't have a father to push them, discipline them, and they give up trying to succeed . . . they don't see themselves as wanted." A regular theme of their stories is that they feel safer in a foster care home or juvenile detention center than on the outside, because they have no father to hold together the family. There is no one at home.

Coming at it from another angle, Joe Carter over at The Evangelical Outpost doesn't know who his father is, but he knows who his Father is. (via Wittingshire)

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