Researchers have found that a father’s love contributes as much – and sometimes more – to a child’s development as that of a mother, while perceived rejection creates a larger ripple on personality than any other type of experience.
Father’s Love Moulds Personality, Studies Say – National Post, June 15, 2012
True that. I wrote last month on Mother’s Day about how my Mom, Marianne Hunt, has been a big influence on my thinking, but she wasn’t the only one. I don’t know if the article is right when it says that the mother’s influence drops out altogether, but it is bang on when it suggests that having acceptance from one’s father is entirely personality shaping.
All of the evidence presented by my own (adventurous, curious, daredevil and incredibly self-aware) personality reflects my Father’s influence over me.
From the time I was a young girl, I saw my father as an adventurer. Whether he was starting his own business without any loans or savings (he came from a poor background where he lost his father in his teens and his mother before he finished University) or climbing a mountain (my father’s outdoor adventures were legendary) or even just thinking different about the world, my father was never conventional. He was responsible and hard working, but more than anything, he taught me that asking questions and not settling for the status quo was an important part of being a human being.
After my brother and I were off into the world, my father took the new found freedom to work around the world, uprooting him and my mom and moving to China for 4 years, spending months at a time in Khazikstan, Russia and Africa. On his 60th birthday, he declared he wanted to go into micro-financing!
When I was a young girl I told my mom I hated the small town we lived in and asked her why she didn’t marry someone like a prince or with some sort of job that could take us to more exciting destinations around the world. But looking back, we saw all sorts of exciting destinations while we had stability and the treasures of being raised in a small, tight-knit community. I’m sure my view on adventure today would be much more conservative if my father dragged us around as kids. He showed us just enough of a teaser to send us off to pursue our own adventures on our own terms. My brother (only sibling) and his family have lived in Africa, UAE and are now in South America. I don’t think anyone who knows me would accuse me of being a homebody.
Ironically, my Dad started signing his emails “Adventure is only a step away” a few years ago. Every time I see that, I smile. Entrepreneur, explorer, traveler, social butterfly (he would never admit that) and overall risk-taker: that’s my dad.
Happy Father’s Day Dad! Thanks for giving me my spirit.