Parents can lead by example

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2021

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When speaking to parent groups which include people convicted of a DWI, I often ask the fathers who have sons if they would like their son to grow up like they are. Almost 100 percent of the time the answer is, “No. I want them to be better than I am.”

I then challenge them to be a better role model and give them a copy of the following written by General Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the South Pacific during World War II.




“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

“Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds, a son who will know Thee—and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

“Lead him I pray, not in the path of base and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm, here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

“Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

“And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.

“Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”


— General Douglas MacArthur


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