When I was a kid, I studied that in school and I took it very seriously. It meant listening to my parents and going along with their beliefs and traditions. And, I was a good little listener; a good little follower.

This concept of honor – to obey – challenged me in my 20′s when I realized I was gay and I also decided not to be religious. Was I now dishonoring my parents?

After a great deal of introspection I realize that I have internalized their exemplary values. To me, that means much more than just following their religious practices. I believe the essential purpose of religion is to be loving and kind and good. Each time I practice self-love, love of another, generosity of spirit and kindness, I am practicing the values they taught me. These values open the door to Freedom and living in The Freedom Zone. So, whether I am religious or not, gay or straight … I am honoring my father and mother.

On this Father’s Day, I want to thank my father for the many gifts he gave me. He taught me to love family, respect all people, be my word, be kind and generous and to believe in myself.

Thanks Daddy. Happy Father’s Day!