Gary D. Rogers - Embracing the Positive Essence of Fatherhood
Gary Rogers was born and grew to adulthood in small Texas town. He was blessed to be raised by an extraordinary Father and loving Mother – and he thought it was normal. However, he would eventually learn that far too many were deprived of the childhood they deserve. As a young man he lived in the inner city of Brooklyn NY. There he came face to face with the ravages of poverty and the crime, drugs, and violence that poverty begets. He observed the damage that ensues when children are deprived of the love and protection of a father. After 45 years of marriage and the raising of 3 amazing children, he became convinced that he had the responsibility to share what he had been given with those who were denied a healthy relationship with a father. It is that thought that was the genesis of his writing and speaking career. The blessing of family, the experiences of life, and the hard times he has walked through have all blended to forge a perspective which he shares with his readers. His is a perspective that views the difficult seasons of life as positive, transformative events. He has a passion to inspire authenticity in men, equip women and men with workable life skills, and enable a healthy culture of fatherhood. He is inspired to empower modern men to become respected, valued, and authentically masculine and to demonstrate how society will benefit when they do. As our Author of the Day, Rogers tells us all about his book, Unlocking the Power of Fatherhood.
Please give us a short introduction to what Unlocking the Power of Fatherhood is about.
In Unlocking the Power of Fatherhood, Gary D. Rogers takes us on a highly personal journey to find life’s purpose as seen through the lens of his extraordinary father. His blueprint for embracing the positive essence of fatherhood is a powerful guide for men and women to achieve a successful life by confronting the realities of the human experience, recognizing the lessons of failure, and discovering the value in life’s difficulties. There is a higher purpose for each of us, which naturally emerges from drawing on the best qualities we as human beings possess.
Unlocking the Power of Fatherhood is a call for all men to seek the full stature of authentic manhood, to take on the role of true fathers, and to positively impact the world around them. Challenging human experiences are seen not as negative, but rather as transformative events that provide the life skills to achieve our greatest accomplishments. This book serves as a guide to realizing that vision.
Every person is valuable. We all have essential contributions to offer mankind, and the responsibility to reach out with our best qualities to aid our fellow travelers along the road of life. In doing so, each of us will write our own unique and wonderful story.
What inspired you to write this book?
The realization of how incredibly blessed I am to have had the Father that I had - coupled with the realization that far too many were deprived of the Father they deserved. Understanding the foundational damage that occurs when a good father is not active in their children’s lives spurned in me with a sense of responsibility to share what I had been freely given.
Why do you find it important to pass on lessons about fatherhood?
The rate of fatherlessness is on the rise and with it our most troubling societal ills. If we are to continue as a civilization, then this trend must be reversed. The statistics surrounding fatherlessness and its effects on the children are appalling. Some of these statistics associated with fatherlessness are given below:
400% greater risk of being in poverty
200% more likely to drop out of school
200% times more likely to be obese
279% more likely to carry a gun and deal drugs
More likely to abuse Drugs and Alcohol
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
“In the midst of the storm we are transformed into the person we need to be to accomplish the purpose for which we were created” Our greatest achievements are found on the other side of our greatest challenge. It is when we accept the challenges we encounter and persevere unto the end, that we gain the character and experience to accomplish our highest purpose. Hard times are not disqualifiers, they are rather transformative events.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am a pretty good speaker and a good councilor. I am also a great homebuilder.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be more consistent in applying my Father’s principles. Specifically, deal with life as it is rather than as I think it ought to be. I would also tell myself to have more self-confidence.
To what degree do you believe authorial intent determines how a work should be interpreted?
I think the authors intent should be respected. It is his work and his message – he is the one who should be listened to – it is in a very real sense his property. The question I would ask is -Why anyone would think that they have the right to twist someone’s message to suit them?
What has most surprised you about the response you've received from readers from your book so far?
The intensity of the positive response. It was my first book and I really didn’t know how good it was. They are starting to make me believe that we have something of importance.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
I am not driven by discipline surrounding when I write. In fact, I still get a little surprised when people call me a writer. I write when I have something to say. I have a VERY full-time job and have to write when I can. I am more driven by inspiration and passion. I really have to have something to say to be able to write. It all originates in my gut and if I don’t feel any passion it doesn’t work.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this book?
I had the most fun with telling the world about my father. He was just such a remarkable man it was fun to share him with the world. It was also fun to remember and reconnect to him in my heart.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about
We have received a lot of positive feedback about the cover. The cover was the work of a very creative person at my publisher, Palmetto Publishing. I think they really captured an important theme in the book i.e. that our children learn from what they see much more than from what they hear. The boy in the cover, mimicking his Dad is a powerful message. The cover screams loudly that our children need their father in the home and they need to see him every day. And Dads, if you have to travel on business, they need to hear your voice every night.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Favorite time of the day to write, favorite writing spot, sources of inspiration?
I need to be alone and start very early in the day. I got the inspiration to write the book one Saturday morning at 4:30 am. I write either in my office or in our breakfast area. I do best when there is no one in the house. My wife and have been married for 45 years and I love her dearly but I do best when she is not there. It’s like I need to capture my mind’s attention very early and hold on to it to write. When I can get it focused and stay with it is when I do my best work. This is particularly true for the first draft.
What are you working on right now?
I am spending most of my time trying to get the book into as many people’s hands as possible. I am doing some online article writing and appearing on as many podcasts as possible. I am also working on trying to figure out how to do some speaking. That I believe is going gto be a very effective medium. I am also making notes for the next book.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best place to go is our website www.RethinkingFatherhood.com You can purchase a book from all the major retailers there. The is a lot more information there, particularly about our speaking. You an also download a FREE Companion Guide there. Lastly, there is a page with all the media placements and an interview with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul).