In 1960, Harper Lee published her only book and it was a homerun! To Kill a Mockingbird became a celebrated classic that was translated into various languages and adapted into an Academy Award winning movie. Along the way, the novel also scored a prestigious Pulitzer for its commentary on the need for social change and acceptance.
Mockingbird soared thanks, in part, to the characters the author created, from reclusive Boo Radley to tomboy Scout. And, then, there’s the book’s solid foundation, Atticus. A widower raising two children, he became a father figure for all times. His character’s intelligence, bravery, compassion and yes, intuition, guided him into doing the right thing, even when the outcome was distant and unclear. Unlike Atlas, he didn’t carry the world on his shoulders, instead, Atticus cradled his chunk with respect and responsibility.
Last month, my mother and I had the chance to tour Miss Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, AL (and childhood address of Truman Capote as well). The highlight? Standing in the famous courtroom depicted in the book and movie where Atticus, an attorney, defends human rights and equality. At that point, his character transitions from being a father to a hero.
Atticus has always stuck with me, as I believe in what he represents. And, I’d like to think that I’m capable of manifesting my own share of positive energy. For that matter, we all are. And, perhaps, that was part of the author’s intention all along: Readers have the ability to recognize their own unique good and a choice to activate it.
Miss Lee just didn’t add a book to the shelves, she ignited and moved our human consciousness to a better place. Happy Father’s Day!
Love and light,