Glenn Beck’s dad is seen here working in their family bakery…
GLENN: You know, I started the program today with that essay and I ask the question on Father’s Day weekend, how many of us are working so hard and we say we’re doing it for the family but are we? Are we just trying to get away a little bit because we’re afraid we’re going to screw things up because we don’t know what the heck we’re doing? "As a dad I don’t know what the heck I’m doing," and is that what we’re doing? And as I’ve had a chance to think about it, I want to bring you this idea. Why is it on Mother’s Day we all talk about how great our moms are. Why is it on Mother’s Day you don’t have the wringing of the hands and you don’t have the "My mom wasn’t there for me," but you do on Father’s Day. Why is it on Mother’s Day it’s the number one long distance day but not on Father’s Day? Father’s Day’s not number 2. Why is it on Mother’s Day everybody goes out, runs and tries to do something special for mom but Dad gets a tie, almost an afterthought. It’s not that I want more than a tie. I guess it’s the thought that counts. And we spent so much time thinking about moms, and we should.
And I’m going to be real honest with you. My mom wasn’t mother of the year. My mother, my mother had real deep, deep problems. She was doing her best, but she left the family to deal with suicide when I was 13 years old. Family hasn’t ever recovered from it. We’re still dealing with it today. I was on the phone just last week with my 50-year-old sister and she’s still dealing with it and so am I. And yet the media and the general public, we never talk about our moms this way on Mother’s Day, but for dads we do. And maybe it’s because moms are supposed to be warm and fuzzy and we just don’t — we’ve been raised better than this, to talk poorly about our mothers. Our mothers are special. We revere our mothers. "Don’t you talk about my mother that way." And so maybe we don’t delve into what our moms were really like. Maybe we give mom the benefit of the doubt. Maybe we just say Mom was doing her very best.
It’s also easy to remember mom a little kinder, I guess. You know how you forget the bad stuff and you only end up remembering the good stuff. Our memories change. And mom was there in the middle of the night. Mom was the one you cried out for when you were sick because mom was the soft one. Mom was the caring one. Mom was the one that you ran to the arms of when you would fall down and skin your knee. But you know what? That’s society. That’s society trying to make dad into something less than mom. Dad maybe is not the one that is supposed to be the one that you run to when you skin your knee. Dad’s the one that you’re running with when you skin your knee.
I didn’t learn how to talk to people from my father. I learned that the words you say to another man mean something. My son says to me every night when we go to bed — we’re having a hard time keeping him in his own bed and when I think we’re headed for a bad night, I look at him and I say, Raphe, tonight you’re going to stay in your bed? And he says, yes, Dad. I say, no, look me in the eye, tell me what you’re going to do. And he’ll say, I’m going to — and I say, no, you look a man in the eye when you give him your word. And he says, I’m going to stay in my bed, Dad. I say, shake on it, and he shakes my hand. I say, now, what do we do in this family? He said, we don’t break our promises. I said, that’s right. We probably do that three times a week. And you know what? He doesn’t break his promise. On those nights he stays in bed. Because he also knows I don’t break my promises, and there will be punishment. That’s the kind of stuff I learned from my dad. Not how to talk to people, not to converse, not to chitchat because my dad never did it. Not to be comfortable around people because my dad never was and I’m not. It’s that your words mean something. I wonder. I’m away from my children an awful lot because I work an awful lot, but I don’t work probably more than you do. I work 12 hours a day and then I come home. I’m home for dinner with my kids except when I travel. I’m at home with dinner with my kids. I’m home on the weekends. I don’t work. I’m home every Sunday with them. We stay together on Sundays. We don’t do any work. We do church stuff and family stuff on Sundays. But I wonder. My dad, he never said to me, he never taught me how to work. He never told me how to work, but I know I work like my father does. My dad worked his tail to the bone. That’s the work ethic I have and because of that work ethic, my family will change. My family has opportunities. Because of my father’s work ethic, I have opportunities that he didn’t have. Because of my work ethic, my children have opportunities that I didn’t have.
So I’m looking at my dad maybe today in a different light. Maybe we should. My father was there for all the plays. He may have still had icing on his shoes, no kidding. He still may have pastry on his pants, but he didn’t miss the plays. I haven’t missed my daughter’s. He was busy supporting the family, but I never, ever once doubted my father’s love for me, never once. I didn’t do all the things that, you know, I saw — what was that show with the Courtship of Eddie’s Father. I didn’t have the relationship that Eddie had with his dad. But I knew that my father loved me. I think my children do as well. Maybe we’re not supposed to learn all the things that we learn from our mother. Maybe we’re trying to put our dad in the category of mom, and dad doesn’t belong in the category of mom. Dad belongs in the category of dad, not the category of mom. Why are we spending so much time thinking about what we didn’t have with our dad? You know what? Because we spend so much time thinking about what we didn’t have with our dad, we forget what we do have with our dad. We forgot what we did learn from our dad. I learned how to be tough. I learned how to be honest. I learned how you look a man in the eye and your handshake means something. Your word is your bond. I learned to take care of my family. I learned that it is a man’s responsibility to make sure you can put food on the table. I learned that it was a man’s responsibility to do whatever it took to make sure his family was safe and well cared for. I learned work ethic from my dad. I learned how to be a man from my dad. Never anything he taught me. He didn’t teach me how to shoot a gun, he didn’t teach me how to go fishing. Never went to a soapbox derby with my dad. But that’s kids stuff. At some point we’ve got to leave the kids stuff behind and we’ve got to look at the man stuff. Forget about what happened in the past. Did your dad teach you how to be a man. Mine did. I’m grateful for that. Maybe we should spend some time today thinking about the man stuff, not the kid stuff, not the, "Oh, I scraped my booboo, give me a hug" stuff but the man stuff. There’s a shortage of not only oil in this country today. I think there’s a shortage of men. There’s a shortage of people who will just pull themselves up by the bootstrap and say, you know what, enough is enough; get the hell out of my way, let a man through here; I’ll take care of it. Maybe this Father’s Day — you know what? Maybe this Father’s Day you just need to give a card to your dad that says, thanks for helping me man up. And you don’t mean that in a bad way. Mean that in a good way. Dad, thanks for helping me man up. I’m glad I’m a man.