What kind of example do we set for our children? Can we say follow me—do what I do—and mean it? On today’s Home School Heartbeat, Michael Farris talks with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas about the extraordinary example his grandfather set for him.
Justice Thomas, what lessons do you think fathers and grandfathers who are listening can draw from your experience with your own grandfather?
Well, I think the first lesson is, when my brother and I went to live with him, he said that he wasn’t going to just tell us to do as he said. He was going to tell us to do as he did and he would lead by example. So, that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself because little kids see a lot of things. I asked my brother before he passed away eight years ago, I asked him, “Did he ever fail? Was he a hypocrite at any point?” And we just agreed he absolutely was not; he did not say he was perfect—he just simply said here’s the example to follow. So I think what I would say to people is just simply remember the little kids have big ears and big eyes. And the example is worth a thousand lectures, and so I think much of what I got from him is not just what he said but mostly from what he did.
Thank you Justice Thomas. Listeners, I highly recommend Justice Thomas’ book to you. It is an excellent study of strength in the face of adversity—both in his childhood and later as an adult during the vicious senate confirmation hearings. The lessons of character learned early are lessons that we want to impart to our own children. I’m Mike Farris.