A father’s prayer..!

A few days ago I’d promised myself I’d banter away today and with twinkle in my eye and naughty resolve I opened laptop and then stared hard at the date that flashed before me. It felt familiar, too familiar and that’s when I realized with a shock it was my late father’s birthday. I smiled as I thought of him; a man who had influenced me much with his thoughts and ideas.
My eyes wander from computer screen to a plaque that is fixed firmly on wall. I remember dad giving it to me as I left his home in New York. “Bob,” he had said, “place this where you’ll always see it!” He had worked on it himself, typing the words on paper, and framing it with a simple gold beading.
I read it again: It’s called “A Father’s Prayer” by General Douglas McArthur, a man my father admired. Let me read it for you: “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and have 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 wishbone will not be where his backbone should be, 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 ease 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 learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.” “And after all these are his, add, I pray enough of a sense of humour 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.” I place the plaque back on the wall, and there are tears in my eyes, as I think on those words; so strong, so demanding!
I think of all the dads in the world, and what they expect from their children, how sometimes without knowing, they spoil their children and later, when those same children have to ‘stand up in the storm,’ they can’t because they don’t know how. “Happy Birthday!” I whisper and, “Thank you dad..!”
— Email:bobsbanter@gmail.com

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