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June 21, 2015

Transformers Optimus Prime (Hasbro booth at 2011 Comic-Con), Author Doug Kline – Pop Culture Geek Network, Source Flickr (CC BY-SA 2. 0 Generic)

TRANSFORMERS, all associated names, terms, phrases, and slogans are Copyright 2003 Hasbro.  All related characters and toys are registered trademarks of Hasbro and Takara Tomy.  All rights reserved.

NOTE: Hasbro and Takara Tomy have no relation to this blog or the posts it contains.

I sat in a darkened theater with a wonderful little boy whose father is not present in his life, and thought about fathers everywhere.

We were at another in the series of TRANSFORMERS ® movies. For those who may not be familiar with them, the Transformers are a race of giant robots from a distant galaxy. They engage in a war of good against evil, some of which takes place on earth.

Sometimes beaten and broken, abandoned and uncared for, these robots can assume different shapes, as the need arises. Though not immortal – some perish – the Transformers personify heroism while the human beings in the plot often fail or fall short, at times even betraying individual Transformers whose desire is to help them.

What the little boy with me could not see, but I did, was that the Transformers were as much pictures of real human beings as the human characters in the story were.

It is a thrilling story, this war of good against evil. And we all play a role, whichever side we choose to take. At times, we struggle against impossible odds, unbeatable foes – the challenges of heart disease or breast cancer, grief and loss. We stagger forward under loads no one should have to bear – the burdens of single motherhood, the daily toil of a thankless job to which we remain faithful for the sake of our children.

In the process, we are transformed. Oh, our parts may rust, become worn and broken. But our hearts become something else, something shining.

The movie plot is not far wrong. We need a Savior. But our own lives are not irrelevant to the story. Many of us become the heroes we never had in our lives, the fathers who were not present…or were anything but heroic.

From a teacher or coach, from the father of a friend and a mother striving to squeeze more than 24 hours into each day, from a grandparent, from a scout leader or a volunteer at the local Boys & Girls Club, from the character in a movie or children’s book, we fashion the heroes so desperately needed, and do our best to fill their shoes, assailed by monsters of all kinds.

On Father’s Day, we celebrate the wonderful men who devote their lives in large and small ways to raising healthy and well-loved children, in a hostile world. I know a little boy who is going to grow up and become one.

But we should not forget the coaches and scout leaders, the mentors of every sex, shape, and size who teach us right from wrong, who show us that the strong protect the weak; mentors who model for us what it is to be human, in the very best sense of the word…and ultimately transform us.

“To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go…

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause…

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star”

— “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha (Lyrics by Joe Darion)


  1. This is wonderful.

  2. There’s such a need for good role models for children and unfortunately, with the way the world is these days, some kids miss out because there’s just not enough to go round. Glad you could be a good role model for the little boy whose father is absent. At least he has you ❤️

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