“Come in the name of love.” When I first heard those U2 lyrics I was very young. I knew the song was catchy, but that was about it. It would be years later that I would discover what?the song?was about, or more accurately who the song was about. It’s no secret that Dr. King is my biggest hero. I have to stop every time I hear his voice and I stare when I see his image. Many of his words are not new to me, yet they feel new whenever I hear them.?That’s why?when someone (I really should get better with names) contacted me and said that they wanted to send?a copy of the History Channel’s King I couldn’t pass it up. Plus I don’t have cable so DVDs are always welcome.
After ninety minutes of being reminded how far black people have come, and the?country for that matter, I also realized something that I had never thought too deeply about: Dr. King was a father. Sure we think of him as the father of the Civil Right Movement, but the guy was also a dad.?Can you imagine being in school as a child and a teacher asking you “What does your daddy do for a living?” and you responding “Um, well he’s the moral conscience of the?United States of America.”?As we get closer to Fathers Day it just seemed right to share the most important thing that King’s?son recalled about him:?he remembered feeling loved.
The reality is that?most of us have crazy jobs, busy lives and tons of obligations. Even our stay-at-home daddy crew busts their butts to raise their children full time. But when?I think about a man, a dad, that was assassinated while fighting for the rights of millions and speaking out against an unpopular war, and how he still had time to make his children feel loved I pause. I pause because a man with so few precious moments with his kids prioritized loving them, and making them feel it above all else, while he committed to making the world a better place. And it may be that “simple.” If when you are disciplining your kid, playing with your kid, dropping your kid off at the big school, away on business,?or when you truly are too busy to talk – if after all that and more your kids still feels loved you?may be?doing something right.
The key is loving them when they are not so cute and cuddly… Like when they’re teens. My teenage years aren’t too far behind me?so I remember them with well. I wasn’t 100% sure then if my dad?gave a crap about?me (I know now that he did) and that?uncertainty may have been harder to handle if not for my extended family, and my grandma and mother.?I also remember the year when I smoked a couple of cigarettes a day (I was 16 and I was lucky to quit cold turkey) and those nights when I purposefully ignored curfew. I remember my racing hormones and my first kiss (the girl almost ate my face – there were teeth involved – but thinking back it may have been my fault given that I couldn’t keep up). My point is that if you c can love them through that nonsense too, then you are a pretty good dad. But not better than Dr. King. *smile*
What has always blown me away about men like Dr. King, Malcolm, Medgar Evers, etc. is the fact they knew they were risking their lives, but they still were fathers. They knew there was a strong possibility they would never see their children grow up. They chose between being there with their children and dying to make the world better for their children.
When I look at my son I am not sure I would be willing to forgo seeing him become a man. However, King made that very difficult choice. I still do not think we truly understand the depth of Dr. King’s conviction. Somewhere in all that lies the true definition of love.
Great song and better man! You’re pretty good, too.
Wow, I haven’t heard that song in YEARS, and cant really remember the lyrics. I don’t think I even realized what the song meant back then. I’ll have to listen to it again.
It’s sad that other children cant share the same memory about their fathers, or parent’s. I hope that when I’m gone and my kids think about me that the same memory they share.
Wishing you a most wonderful fathers day. I hope you enjoy it.
I wish you the best Father’s Day ever! Thanks for sharing. 🙂