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I Will Destroy the Motor of My Father

By , Yorba Linda, CA
Ayn Rand put it best when her character John Galt said, ?I will destroy the motor of the world.? Well, call me Galt because I?m going to destroy the motor of my father. I can?t give you the reasons for my decision without telling you the story of my life.

Last week my father promised to pick me up from school because my friend who usually picks me up was out of town. School ends and I?m twiddling my thumbs. An hour goes by and I build up the nerve to call my father to ask him where he is. He calls me back thirty minutes later and says he got caught up in a meeting. He also says I should just walk home because he can?t come pick me up anytime soon. My house is at least three and a half hours away. He doesn?t apologize, he just says, ?people?s lives our at stake.? At this point you are probably thinking that if peoples? lives are at stake I should just forgive him and move on. There?s only one problem with that. He?s used that same excuse since I was four. It was my fourth birthday the first time I heard that excuse. Of course I forgave him for missing my fourth birthday. I was only four and I knew that daddy was helping people. Then it started happening on a regular basis. He didn?t come home at nights and the few times I saw him, he would promise me things he could not promise. ?Of course I?ll take you to get some ice cream,? he said. Thirty minutes later he would say, ?I?m sorry honey, but I?ve got work to do. It?s very imperative that I do it or this business might go under. You wouldn?t want hundreds of people to lose their jobs because you were selfish enough to want ice cream, do you?? My answer was always, ?No daddy, I?m not selfish. I don?t need ice cream.?

When I turned twelve I started questioning my dad?s work. What does he do? Why does he do it? I found out that he was an accountant. I also soon found out that he was being used by everyone. Not only was he an accountant, but he was everything else in the business as well. Everyone wanted his help and he couldn?t stand saying no to a single person. He was doing jobs for people being paid twice as much as him, asking for nothing in return. He was giving his life to people who didn?t give a damn about him. They wanted something from him and they didn?t care if they destroyed him in the process.

My father has a problem saying no. It?s a sickness he can?t conquer. He wants to promise me the world, and he does. I know he loves me more than anything else, but when you?re promised the world and then offered a mere bread crumb, it?s crushing. I can?t remember a single time in my childhood when he kept one promise, attended a birthday, or even picked me up from somewhere on time. The worst part of it all is that I?ve never received a single apology. Instead, I?m supposed to give him forgiveness he does not deserve. His only power is that of pity and guilt. ?I was helping people. Probably even saving their lives,? he would say. Then, I would have to feel bad for him because he was working so hard. After that, he?d even have the audacity to make me feel bad because I was mad at him for something out of his control. I forgave him, I always forgave him. I even let him transfer his guilt to me. Somewhere deep down I knew that he felt guilty for breaking his promises. He just never admitted it. Instead, he wanted me to tell him that everything was alright. That he wasn?t a bad person and in a way I think he wanted me to tell him that breaking his promises was ok. But, you know what, it?s not ok to break promises. I?d rather have him tell me that he?s never going to be there for me.

Daddy has become the very people who use and abuse him. He?s the victim of his co-workers because he chooses to be. You might be one of those people who believe that selfishness is a sin. But, selflessness to the point where you?re destroying your life and the lives? of the ones you love is just as big of a sin. In fact, I believe a certain amount of selfishness is necessary to live in this world. My father always calls me selfish because I?m nothing like him. I?m not willing to make my life a living hell just because he needs me. I don?t believe in things that are unearned and I don?t deserve the guilt my father puts on me. The forgiveness my father yearns for, but never asks for is unearned as well. This is the motor of my father?s world and I will not stand for it any longer.

My dad?s world is revolved around an endless cycle of lies. I know every wall he?s built for defense and I know every town built of guilt. The roads are paved with pity and the homes are made of insecurity. I and many others give him the supplies to make this world a reality. But, this world can never be a reality because it?s all lies. I?m the first one who is not going to support the ?nonexistence? of what his world really is.

Reading Ayn rand?s book, Atlas Shrugged helped me put into words what I was feeling towards my father. Rand did not teach me any values or beliefs I did not have already. She simply let me know that my beliefs were just.





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