By Lavern Nissley
Father's Day 2015 was two days ago, and many of us experienced memories and/or celebrations surrounding the role of fathers.
Sixteen years ago (1999), in South Africa's Pilanesberg Park, rhinos suddenly began to show up dead. But it wasn't poachers that killed 39 white rhinos, 10% of the population. It was juvenile elephants who had been separated from their fathers and dominant male role models!
Bob Simon first reported this story for 60 Minutes in 1999, including the remedy (view excerpts in YouTube video at right). Older bull elephants were brought into the vicinity, and it wasn't long before the younger, out of control elephants changed their behavior for the better. Not one rhino was killed after that! Apparently the testosterone-charged juveniles were discouraged from being sexually active. Less testosterone. Less aggression.
There seems to be a "bull elephant" persona that healthy fathers and male role models can play in the lives of children and youth. Our 5-year-old granddaughter, Ali, at times needs the dominance of her own daddy to "draw a line in the sand"--essentially saying, "No more of this!"
Have you ever seen a healthy "bull elephant" influence among your own children? Or among adolescents? Obviously, we're not talking about a hurtful domination that leaves scars for life. Rather, draw encouragement from the powerful behavioral influence that positive fathering and male role models can play in the next generation.
Top image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A weekly post on Tuesdays at 10:10 am that addresses some topic associated with relationship and marriage health. Don't miss it!
Main author is Lavern Nissley, Executive Director of MRCMV. Guest authors will be included in posts from time to time.