As a human resources professional Floyd Sartin knows a thing or two about connections with people. As the Director of Human Resources at Service Year Alliance, he is tasked with leading strategic business initiatives and managing and implementing HR functions. And while his role within the company allows him to serve his peers, he has a larger opportunity, because he gets to serve the community as well.
And for a person so well connected, Sartin is most inspired to connect with those inside his own home–more importantly his 4-year-old son, Carter. Outside of his professional role, Sartin is a coffee roaster entrepreneur and above all, enjoys spending quality time with family.
In an interview with theGrio for our #ThisIsBlackFatherhood series, Sartin shares how fatherhood has changed him and the biggest lessons he’s learned.
theGrio: What does fatherhood mean to you?
Floyd Sartin: I believe that it’s sacred and an honor to join the ranks of fatherhood. I have learned a great deal in the last 4 years and I look forward to my son teaching me more. Being a father means that I am responsible for more than just myself. It means that I am responsible for ensuring his well being, physically, academically and emotionally. Being a father means putting aside self, and allowing a 4 year old to teach me new tricks. Being a father means that I am eternally bonded to another human through a connection that is stronger than I could ever explain.
TG: Has fatherhood changed you at all? If so, how?
FS: I think it has changed me in a tremendous way. I’m definitely more thoughtful and patient with people b/c that’s a big part of being a parent. I find myself choosing my words and overall attitude very carefully b/c I know that I’m ultimately molding another human being into being a greater version of me.
TG: What’s the biggest difference between a father and dad?
FS: A dad is someone who takes time to cultivate a relationship with their child. They take time to get to know them and are mindful of their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses, etc. A dad caters to their child’s needs both physically and emotionally. A dad is role model and a provider. A dad achieves the goal by any means necessary. A father, in my opinion, is more authoritarian and believes in only one means to an end. They may or may not take time to learn from their child and know and cultivate the individual child.
TG: What’s the biggest lessons you’ve learned since becoming a father and dad?
FS: To be patient with their development. Fathers tend to want their sons to be ready to take on the world by storm, immediately. And my son, Carter, is always up for that challenge. Unfortunately, that’s not always ideal or realistic. Most of us didn’t learn how to ride a bike or count to 100 on our first try. These are learned abilities that require practice, sacrifice and hard work. You have to be just as patient with developing their skills; keeping in mind that you required the same practice, sacrifice and hard work to accomplish your goals.
TG: Did your father have a big presence in your life? If so, what were some of the lessons that you learned from him, that you put into practice once you became a father?
FS: I was fortunate enough to have both my grandfather, who was a Pastor, and my Father, a retired military vet, provide me with two different approaches in life. My grandfather was a gentle giant that taught me about God, how to love your spouse/others, and ultimately how to be a great person. His genuine spirit encouraged me to be honest and always considerate of others’ feelings which is something that I’m instilling in Carter. My Father was more of a no-nonsense kind of guy. He taught me how to get the job done despite any obstacles that may arise.