What is a father?
A father is not a buddy or a pal. Rather, he is a loving companion, near when needed, available when requested.
A father is not a confidant for secrets of the young. But he is a counselor who will listen, discuss and talk out problems, gently leading toward reasonable conclusions.
A father is not a perfect being. Rather, he is a man who teaches his child virtues and values and the important lesson of being true to self.
A father is not a protector against all of the bumps, trials and obstacles encountered during the tender years. But he prepares his child to expect to deal with unpleasant and difficult circumstances and challenges, and to face them responsibly.
A father does not set goals for his child. Rather, he provides inspiration and support, encouraging achievement within the range of the child's abilities.
A father does not place the concept of winning on the highest level. Rather, he explains that participation and involvement to the best of one's capabilities provides the ultimate in personal satisfaction.
Above all, a father provides a good example.
If he is honest and fair, there is no need to preach about integrity.
If he is compassionate, social sermons are redundant.
If he endeavors to clothe, feed, house and educate those dependent on him, he places the worth of material goods in proper perspective.
If he is loving, he demonstrates that human warmth is life's most precious expression.
A father is more than a biological participant in creation of life.
He is an on-the-scene, open-hearted person who gives of himself.
He is responsible, respected and entitled to love in return.
He is the most important man in his child's life, and for him, every day is Father's Day.
(Editor's note: Today's editorial - in honor of Father's Day last Sunday - was penned more than 35 years ago by the late Tom Miller, former owner-publisher of the Cherokee Daily Times. He and his wife, Jean, are the parents of 11 children.)