Friday, June 15, 2012

"A Good Man" - The Perfect Last-Minute Father's Day Gift!

Need a last minute Father's Day gift? Mark Kennedy Shriver's new book, A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver, would be a perfect pick! 

RSVP was lucky enough to speak with Mark about his new book and the important role his father played in his life.

RSVP: What did your relationship with your father teach you about being a father?
Mark: My father let my siblings know that he loved us every day—his unconditional love and interest in our lives was consistent and expressed in all sorts of ways from the notes he wrote to us on a regular basis even after we left home to how he was excited and joyful at our sporting and other outings and events, no matter the score or our performance.  He saw everything in his life as gift from God, from his earlier trials right down to his Alzheimer’s.  So many of us in the American culture want to believe we are in control, especially men.  Dad didn’t believe any of that.  He may have been disappointed, but he didn’t let that disappointment linger and turn into anger.  His faith was real and personal, and it freed him from anger and sadness and filled him with hope and love. 

RSVP: What contributions did your father, Sargent Shriver, make to the fathers of this country?
Mark: Dad’s work was grounded in his faith in God and that faith demanded hope and love in every facet of life.  Those three virtues gave Dad the power to effect real change in this country.  He voluntarily entered the Navy before America entered World War II because he saw American democracy as the most hope-filled government ever.  His work on the Chicago Board of Education, the creation of the Peace Corps, the growth of Special Olympics—all were an effort to spread hope and love in the world, to heed Jesus’s call to help the poor.  He thought that the calling to service was where the real power was and I think he was right.

RSVP: In your opinion, what can today's parents do to promote the lessons taught in your book to the next generation? 
Mark: I think the main challenge all parents face now is the one of having enough time and keeping our family, faith, friends and work in balance. I’m writing notes to my kids now and slipping them under their doors at night -- about conversations at dinner or something I may have read in the newspaper that I think might interest them, much like my father did.   Handwritten notes—something they can always have—not texts or emails which can disappear the next day. 

RSVP: What is your favorite quote?
Mark: This is part of a testament that my father wrote when he was 87: “I believe in faith, hope, and love.  I believe that they have power.”

Click here to order your copy of A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver.

Huge thanks to the amazing Jan Miller Rich and Jeff Rich for hosting us at the book signing!

Justin Whitman, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Paula North

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to all nominees as well. It was a night of glamor.