When I look down at my hands typing, I see my father's hands. When I repair a leaky faucet or a flickering lamp, I see my father doing the same thing as I stand by his side, waist-high, holding a flashlight and passing him a wrench or screwdriver. These memories make me wonder about what other aspects of my father-his character, his intelligence, his kindness, humor and artistic talent-are also part of me.

I'm especially interested in this now because I'm writing a book about why fathers matter, about what they contribute to their children, and why we so often seem to undervalue them. And while I'm turning over these questions myself, I'd like your thoughts, too.

What does your father mean to you? How did he shape you? What do fathers mean to our society, our culture, our nation? What would you change about the way we think about fathers?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email me at paulraeburn@ymail.com. If you're willing to discuss this further, send me your email or phone number. Or message me on my Facebook page, facebook.com/paulraeburn.

Thanks so much for your help. I'll share the results in future posts. (And I will, of course, protect your privacy.)

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