Paul Jacob

Today, politicians tell us what we want to hear, even if it’s a lie — just to ingratiate themselves and reap the benefits. My dad always told me what I needed to hear — the truth — whether it made him more popular or not, so to benefit me. That is, he worked for my interest, not, always directly, for “his.”

Politicians argue to do as they say, not as they do. Dads teach by example.

Politicians claim if they don’t grab the pork, someone else will. Fathers teach to do what is right and take only what is yours.

Politicians will mortgage our future to win their next election. Dads will go to work next week to secure our future.

I realize I’m lucky, that not all fathers provide for their children what mine provided me. But I’m certainly not alone.

I also realize that the most important thing my father provided was my mother. If anything had happened to him, Mom was so strong of character that his children would have been provided for very well. I’ve striven to be as good a man as my father, though I do not claim to have achieved it, but through smarts or dumb luck or my debonair charm, I think I’ve managed to provide such a mother to my children.

As for my own fatherhood, as often as I’ve questioned whether we can afford the plans and schemes of politicians, I’ve never questioned whether I can afford to be a father. Whatever the costs, the benefits are priceless.

Sure, it appears one has to win the lottery to afford kids these days. But that only adds to the fantastical mystery of life, because with the birth of each of my kids, it sure felt like I had picked the winning numbers.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.