As an entrepreneur, media personality and certified life coach Linal Harris has dedicated his life to helping others connect to their identity, discover their life’s purpose, and embrace their power. For our series on “Fathers Under 50,” we asked him to share his thoughts on successfully raising a child in today’s challenging culture and climate.
What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
I am leaving a legacy of identity and purpose for my son and the children of our community. As African Americans, many of us are completely disconnected from our true history and the pride that comes with this knowledge. My work as a man and father of our community is to reconnect us all to our true identities and greatness.
How would you describe yourself as a father?
I believe my responsibility as a father is to be a steward to my son. I am not his owner, but rather a spiritual shepherd to guide him toward his life’s purpose and personal greatness.
From a father’s perspective, what two books would you recommend every child read?
The two books I would recommend that every child read are:
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
If the children are older:
Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
The Book of Proverbs by King Solomon
Why is it important to expose children to education and valuable skills?
It is important to expose children to education and skill-building early because learning is a lifelong pursuit. I believe a child that is taught to enjoy learning and skill-building will mature into an adult that will continue to learn outside the framework of a school, thereby guaranteeing their future success.
As a father and a life coach, describe your playbook.
My approach to fatherhood as a life coach is to provide unattached stewardship of my child. What I mean by unattached is ensuring that I allow my child to explore and discover his talents and passions without my interference or prejudice. I also believe in giving my child the space to make mistakes and experience the pain of those mistakes. My job as a steward is to keep him safe and alive, not isolated.
Which fatherhood experiences have taught you the most about yourself?
Watching my son observe the newness of his world has awakened me to so many of the little nuances of God’s creation that I have taken for granted. Every day, I learn something new from my son. This reminds me of how little about life I know. Every day, I see something old and forgotten with a new level of appreciation because of the awe and wonder my son bestows on it. Fatherhood has proven to be quite the teacher!
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