When I left home my Dad gave me a wallet

Posted on September 16th, 2011 by Chaplaincy in Tybed

When I left home my Dad gave me a wallet. The reason he did this was because his Dad had given him a wallet when he left home. In the wallet was a letter. The wallet and the letter have been really important to me throughout my life.

In the letter my Dad said many really nice and encouraging things. I won’t bore you with all of them but I want to share with you one of the things he wrote. He quoted Martin Luther King Jnr. He wrote that Martin Luther King Jnr had spoken and written about the importance of character and personality.

What my Dad was saying when he wrote this bit of the letter is that we should be careful how we judge ourselves and other people. He was teaching me that education, jobs and money are important but equally important is having a good character and being a good person. He wrote that we should judge ourselves and others on this and not how much money or success we or they have. He told me that he was most proud of the character that I had and the man I had become.

How do we judge others? Do we judge people by the clothes they wear? The music they listen to? How much money they have? How well they do in college?

Or

Do we judge them by what kind of a person they are? How kind they are? How supportive they are? How loyal they are?

I am now a Dad myself. My children are a long way off leaving home, but when they do, I know that I will give them both a wallet and I will give them both a letter. In these letters I will say the same thing as my Dad said to me. I will tell them to prize being good people, kind, considerate and loyal. Of course I will encourage them to try hard at school and college but I will also try to show them that character and personality are important. I will also urge them to be careful when judging other people and bear in mind the words of Martin Luther King Jnr.

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