A Lesson Through Character and Charity

In an article by Jason Godin, associate editor of Fathers for Good, an initiative for Men by the Knights of Columbus, Godin talks about Oscar winning actor, Henry Fonda: The 1968 film “Yours, Mine and Ours,” stars Henry Fonda as Frank Beardsley, a U.S. naval officer and widower with 10 children who marries another widower named Helen North (played by Lucille Ball) who has eight children. The words of one scene particularly stand out. Frank awakes late at night after hearing Helen’s early labor pains. During the red-alert rush to get her to the hospital, he finds his oldest son engaged in a close-quarters fist fight with the boyfriend of his wife’s daughter. When Frank asks what’s going on, the boyfriend replies: “Nothin. That’s the whole problem with your daughter.” Frank replies: “You wanna know what love really is? Take a look around you … Take a good look at your mother … it’s giving life that counts. Till you’re ready for it all the rest of it is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love-in. It’s the dishes, and the orthodontist, and the shoe repairman and ground-round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else. It isn’t going to bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him. It’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”

In May 1976 Henry Fonda confided in an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal, “I’m not trying to set myself up as a good father, because I wasn’t a good father.” He continued, “I recognize all the problems my children have had, and I don’t claim any credit for what they’ve become. They’ve become what they are in spite of me.” Yet, through the role he played in Yours, Mine and Ours Fonda found part of what it means to be a great father. It was a timeless lesson about love one for you, me and all of us to share. Knights live out that lesson through character and charity. If you believe you would fit in, let us hear from you.

Joe Cox

Membership Director,

KofC Council 12240, St. Bonaventure

[email protected]

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