This video is one of a series that SoulPancake is developing that looks at what it means to be a father today and the role our dads played in our lives. Filmmaker Corbyn Tyson explores what it means to be a good dad. He recognizes that we are all affected by our father (or lack of). Maybe he wasn’t there, maybe he was there too much. What did your parents do right and what did they do wrong?

 What is the first step to being a good father? Let’s start with being a good son. Our lives have been given to us. We didn’t choose our name, where we were born, or how we look. Heck, we didn’t even get to choose what we had to wear for the first few years of our lives.

Some might believe that that stage of dependence passes on to one of independence. This is true and false. True in the sense that a son grows only in so far as he gradually becomes a father, that is someone independent, someone who even takes care of others. False in the sense that we never cease to be dependent, to be fragile, to be limited, to be utterly in need of support, of correction, of guidance, that is, of love. The moment that we consider this as a “passing stage” is the moment that the possibility of being a good father goes out the window.

In my case, as I grow in my path towards priesthood, I too look back on my own experience with my father. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons when I was around 13. It meant tough times for the family and evidently changed our lives forever. But looking back, do you know what I am most thankful for? I thank God for having given me a father who proved to me that a man isn’t to be judged when everything is going just dandy, but rather when the whole world seems to be turning upside down. My dad learned that he still had to grow as a son in his relationship to God. He learned to be a son, to be dependent, to ask for help and to keep loving amongst all the difficulties. And that’s what makes him such a great dad. I will always be grateful