Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Like father, like son? Not necessarily!

There's a story in one of Dale Carnegie's books that goes something like this. There were two sons born of the same father. The father was an alcoholic, drug addict, bitter and cruel to his sons. He killed a liquor store cashier and was imprisoned for life. One of his sons turned out exactly like him. The other had a totally different story, raising three kids in a happy marriage, working as a general manager for a blue chip company. When both brothers were asked separately about how their lives had turned out, they had the same answer: "What else could I have become with a father like that?"

It's a striking story and one that came to mind when I heard about Omar bin Laden, the fourth sone of Osama bin Laden. Despite his father's violent hatred of those he sees as his enemies, Omar is a quiet and compssionate person who is dedicated to causes quite contrary to those of his father.

I was so struck by this contrast that I am now reading the biography of Omar and his mother. So far it is an interesting journey into a devout Muslim world very far removed from my own.

Expect me to report back whenever I (eventually) finish it.

See also this article in The TImes.


Jessi said...

I've always found that fascinating. 75% of boys with abusive fathers become abusive and the other 25% become incredibly passive, terrified of turning out like their fathers.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Looking forward to how it turns out.

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