Fathers have a powerful impact on the people their children become. We have a huge impact in framing the world our children live in. We set up the system in which the begin to shape their values and their moral code. Today we are celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. So let’s take a look at how his father set the stage for him to become the man we celebrate today.
Martin Luther King Sr. worked hard to improve his lot in life. As a result of that effort he created a life in which his son did not have to choose between working or getting an education. His example as a leader in their community led his son toward the fight for civil rights. Most importantly he was always there for his son, underscoring the value of a father who is present in his child’s life.
In his own words Martin Luther King Jr. attributed the following characteristics to his father:
I have rarely ever met a person more fearless and courageous than my father, notwithstanding the fact that he feared for me. He never feared the autocratic and brutal person in the white community. If they said something to him that was insulting, he made it clear in no uncertain terms that he didn’t like it.
My dad …became determined to leave the farm. He often says humorously, ‘I ain’t going to plough a mule anymore.’ …Although he was then eighteen—a year older than most persons finishing high school—he started out getting a high school education and did not stop until he had finished Atlanta’s Morehouse College.
He is a man of real integrity, deeply committed to moral and ethical principles. He is conscientious in all of his undertakings. Even the person who disagrees with his frankness has to admit that his motives and actions are sincere.
4. Civil Rights
My father has always had quite an interest in civil rights. He has been president of the NAACP in Atlanta, and he always stood out in social reform… He led the fight in Atlanta to equalize teachers’ salaries and was instrumental in the elimination of Jim Crow elevators in the courthouse.
If I had a problem I could always call Daddy. Things were solved.
In honouring the man who did so much in the fight for equality today, may we also take a moment to look inward. May we emulate his father and try to be men who set the framework for our own children to go forward and do great things as well.
Leave a Reply