The article “General MacArthur’s Prayer for His Son” and self growth

By | 2015/06/21

I’m heading to Japan from Taiwan today. (18th June)

After staying overseas for one and half years, finally I got a chance to visit Taiwan, my home country and my home town.

I visited my nephew, whose father is far away from him, and I played with him. I hope at least he didn’t feel so lonely in these days.

Because my parents weren’t at home, I stayed at my sister’s place. Thanks! My sister.


My parents were in China, so I flied to China in order to see them. They were getting older now and I felt I should really visit them regularly even just going there and spending time listening to their trivial compliants.

Then, in this trip to Japan, I’m sitting in a train looking at the scenery outside the window, and thinking about myself and the past of myself.

Did I live as a nice person? Was I responsible for what I said and what I did?
Is it OK to live with the current direction?

I got some answers but not all.

But a title of a great article came to my mind: “General MacArthur’s Prayer for His Son.”

This is one of the best articles as reference for me to review my life.

I firstly met this article in the class of Chinese in junior high school.

At that time, Taiwanese education made us learn the meaning of specific words and gave us tests for Chinese grammars without any emphasis on the main idea of this article. What a pitty!

I’m lucky and thankful for beibg able to recall this article now and have a chance to rethink the meaning of this article.

This article not only told me the hint to educate my future children, but also the way and direction for my own life.

Did you notice? Many things we usually think important aren’t in this article: money, power, status, degree, language ability, certificate, title. No, nothing are mentioned.

Do you know why?


General MacArthur’s Prayer for His Son (Douglas MacArthur)

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 pround 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 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 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!”

See article in English list here

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