More often than not, the relationships between fathers and sons impact the understanding that many males develop about notions of manhood. Even when a man’s father has not been present in a way that meets his expectations, his understanding of what it means to be a man is impacted either by the noted absence or the perceived relationship inadequacies. In such cases, men are faced painfully with only two choices: Extend an unhealthy and unhappy notion of manhood or do the work that heals his heart and soul in a way that makes him better. However, when men have positive and healthy relationships with their fathers, they have the opportunity to grow from their father’s successes and learn from his mistakes. No father and son relationship can be called perfect and as a result, there are always things that can be improved, even after one of them is gone.
Livin in the Shade is a book that explores the implications of father and son relationships on the human experience and offers some insight that may be helpful for all.