Monday, February 23, 2009

Pass It On

Fathers do know best, most often. Still, what is the right answer to the question of how much one wants to be irreplaceable and the desire to have a child fill one's footsteps?

For three different takes on the possibilities we have two kings and a commoner. First is the tale of Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, 49, who has been hanging out all these years waiting to take over from pops, Emperor (not really a king, per se) Akihito, now 75. Recently the Prince said he would try to do more, given dad's ill health, which would seem to require a few more ribbon cuttings, since there actually is a parliament that is supposed to be in charge of the country. (BTW bonnie Prince Chuck, maybe you would like to take the hint and do more than wait for mums to drop the handbag of power?)

Second, we have Martin Luther King III, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his dad's travels in Gandhi's footsteps by stepping out on the same path. Literally following in his father's footsteps does seem a more realistic approach to life, since he has been unable figuratively to do so.

Finally, we have the irreplaceable commoner, Pontiac, Mich., alderman Don Don Stalter, whose death propelled son Mike into his city council seat, but whose passing (and Mike's decision not to seek a term of his own) has left nobody willing and/or able to step forward and take his place.

What would their dads want? What would you or yours choose?

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