“In My Father’s House” is a wonderful reminder that there are black men who are highly capable of being great fathers and powerful role models, despite all of the negative stereotypes portrayed by the Media and embraced by Society. The author outlines the important lessons that his father instilled in him as a child. Although, the book itself is short, the lessons shared are timeless. It was quite refreshing to read about a man who held such high regard for his father that the focus of his book was not his own accomplishments, which are many; but his memories of a black man who defied the odds. His father was a man who provided for his wife and eleven children, every day of his life. He was the epitome of what every young black boy could grow up to be. A black man who was: proud, strong, responsible, reliable, intelligent, hard-working, loving, and spiritual. John’s father was a man whose spirit was never broken by racism, discrimination, or prejudice, despite the Era in which he lived.
Mr. Dortch taught his children many lessons. One of those lessons was that, “Your word is your bond.” Oh, what a wonderful lesson to remember. Keep your word or keep your words to yourself. It is better not to make a promise, than to make one and not keep it. I believe that, “I can never be disappointed by a promise you never made, but my heart could possibly be shattered by a promise you make and fail to keep.” There were other invaluable lessons that Mr. Dortch taught his precious ones like: be a man, be responsible, do the right thing, get up running, spirituality keeps you grounded, and you must give back.
One of my favorite parts of this small, yet powerful book contains this passage, “They told me integrity is the basis of trust, and character is the poor man’s capital. Therefore, I believe that every thought that enters our mind, every word we utter, every deed we perform, makes its impression upon the innermost fiber of our being and the results of these impressions is our character.” I would have to agree and I personally consider this to be the most profound lesson of all. We are not defined by who Society says we are. Our thoughts, our words, and our actions make up our character; and that alone defines us. So, we need only be concerned with the content of our character. If we take heed to the lessons taught to John by his father, then our potential is limitless. For as the author, so wonderfully stated, “The height of a person’s potential is in proportion to their surrender to do what is right.”
John P. Dortch uses his own relationship with his father as a blueprint for men and women of all races to impart perpetual truths and much needed wisdom to their children for generations to come.
I had the pleasure of purchasing this book directly from the author when I met him early this year.
Dianne Rosena Jones is the Founder/CEO of Royal Treasures Publishing, a Transformational Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Author of the award-winning “Tragic Treasures: Discovering Spoils of War in the Midst of Tragedy” the "Best Inspirational Book of the Year" .