Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | 22 Opinions
Published: June 16, 2017 7:18 am AST
Photo Credit: Provided
Anyone can be a father, but one of the hardest jobs in the world, right next to being a mother, is being a dad.

It is a common argument, the difference between a father and a dad. This argument derives from the massive increase of deadbeat fathers---men who do not care for, or disown their children, giving a bad name to men in general.

As worldly accepted and commonly used, a dad is a man who is there for and takes care of his child’s every need. A dad acts as a proper role model for his child, and provides the necessities for their maintenance and survival, both physically and mentally.

A dad is a status earned, rather than a name given.

Son of the soil, BVIslander, Alex Paul, 44, is a fitting example of what the term dad truly means.

Although he was never ready to take up the role on the arrival of his first child, things changed quickly, and he knew he had a duty to fulfill.

“I wasn’t ready [to be a dad], but I had to take care of my responsibility. What kind of man would I be if I didn’t; that’s my blood, ready or not, that’s mine. Once you're doing things, you have to expect something else; consequences to everything.”

Single parent to two daughters---Serenity (13) and Destiny(15), Paul said being a dad is no easy job, but it’s something he cannot escape. He and his daughters reside in Greenland, East End.

Paul is also the father of 21 year-old, Jacquan Paul, who resides in the United States.

Paul told BVI Platinum News that although he is alone, his love and his actions for his kids will never waiver; rather, increase as their needs continue to multiply.

In 2008, in the blink of an eye, Paul became a single father, when the mother of his children left him and their family behind. This took a toll him, but he decided to man up, for the sake of his children.

“...It was real tough, but what can you do. Nothing easy, but you have to step up. I have to be there for them.”

He said, “I fight for my kids, because I’m a father. I’m not looking no easy way out; I never complain, I don fuss nor fight.”

Paul is fully absorbed in the lives of his children.

“I’m there with them for every step. I’m standing strong, doing what I’m supposed to do, whatever I have to do.”

He added, “Every day I’m there. I make sure they eat, get to school and make sure everything is in order. Every day I’m at the well [Sunday Morning Well, Road Town] to make sure my youngest gets to school. If she misses the bus, then I have to get a ride for her. I’m in everything they do; they are my children.”

In 2013, he was voted Father of the Year, by the Francis Lettsome Primary School. This motivated him to carry on.

“It encouraged me even more, showed me that I’m doing good. I always tried, but that pushed me even more. I do what I have to do, be there for my children. I love my children, I love people on a whole. I am a good father. I try my best to be.”

He expressed that he has no doubt that the role of a dad is definitely a job, but noted that it is one that a man should never quit.

“Being a dad is a job, no questions asked. These kids are an everyday thing. Can’t go a day without looking for them or taking care of them, but you can’t look at it as a burden. You brought these people here; your responsibility now. Man up!”

Paul also commented on the men in society who refuse to care for their child(ren) and family, and are giving other men a bad name.

“These men that out there giving fathers a bad name, they need to step up and be there for their youths. It’s a tough role, but we have to stay strong.”

In advice to other fathers, he stated that love is everything, noting that once love exists between a man and his child, everything else will fall into place.

“You have to love your children; that’s where it starts. When you wake up, your son or daughter should be on your mind, nothing else.”

He said, “If my kids don’t eat, I can’t eat. You need to be there for them. It’s hard, but it’s yours, deal with it.”

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