Yesterday was Father’s Day, and it continued a very disturbing trend that has only gotten worse, thanks in large part to social media. With avenues like Facebook and Twitter, everyone now has the ability to publicly claim his/her father as “the best dad in the world.”
A claim like that is, of course, patently false, but the illegitimacy of these claims is going wildly unchecked. It’s reckless and, to be honest, downright dangerous.
It’s simply impossible for every dad to be “the best.” You know what it means to be the best at something, don’t you? It means you are unequivocally the greatest at what you do; no one else is on your level. You are, objectively, better than everyone else.
So shouldn’t this be the same standard we hold to the title of “World’s Best Dad” or its subsidiaries, such as “#1 Dad” or “World’s Greatest Dad”? There should be no loopholes with this; being the best simply encompasses everything.
The most famous example of this comes from Seinfeld. Izzy Mandelbaum had a legitimate complaint about Jerry awarding Morty with a “#1 Dad” shirt, but his claim of being the World’s Greatest Dad was just as false.
As is the case with everything in life, there is always going to be someone better. Did your dad drive you to soccer practice once, maybe twice, per week when you were a kid? Somewhere out there, a father drove three screaming kids to soccer practice every day, probably further than your dad ever did.
Oh, your dad came to all of your recitals? That’s nice, but there’s a dad in the world who went to every recital, filmed every minute, then cut all the footage together to make an invaluable piece of art that his son/daughter can watch for the rest of his/her life.
A lot of dads make really great speeches at their daughters’ weddings. But guess what? There are dads out there who are published, award-winning authors, and there is no doubt that their speeches were much better than your dad’s.
Dads, possibly more than anyone, understand the concept of winning and losing, but it’s interesting that none of them have stepped forward on social media to put a stop to this desecration of sacred competition. When they look at it objectively, they surely understand that they simply don’t have what it takes to be the best. But there’s certainly no shame to being in the 90th percentile or so. You can’t blame them, though. It’s nice to be told you’re the best at something, and if you hear it enough times, you’re bound to start believing it.
But with my dad already occupying the #1 spot, gaining it fair and square, I find it offensive to go on social media every Father’s Day and be inundated with constant updates of other people spreading such damaging lies. It’s not right for you to be doing this. You’re not doing your dad any favors here. We’re trying to run a functioning society here, and there’s no reason to entertain such falsehoods each and every year.
There’s nothing wrong in saying, “Even though he’s not the best, my dad is still one of the best dads in the world!” It’s a perfectly acceptable, and likely to be true, statement. Wouldn’t it feel better to stop living a lie?