A Diplomat, a Gentleman, a Father
Dear Spencer and Philip,
The events of the last three days impel me to write to you both, to repeat to you some things I have said before, but which I believe I should say to you once again.
To begin, I want you both to know that I am very proud of you and that nothing I have to say implies the slightest dissatisfaction with either of you. Still, you are not yet completely formed and I have the responsibility of sharing with you some of my thoughts and beliefs before I release you completely.
I have always wanted above all else that you be upright and honest, since I firmly believe that your happiness in life will be directly proportionate to your self-respect. And your chances of having this precious self-respect, which must not be confused with conceit or arrogance, will be the greater if you resolve never to take unfair advantage of another human being, never to seek material success at the expense of others.
I wish, of course, that you will be kind and considerate, warm, friendly, and loving, but there is another thing, related to these, and that is tolerance. You have seen in these last days, as all Americans have seen, the cruel results of bigotry. I
implore you to think deeply on this, while the memory is fresh, and to resolve never to judge a man on the basis of his race, religion, or color, but on your own estimation of his true worth. In politics, as in other things, I hope you will forego the extremes, of left or right, since I believe that neither can be
good for the great majority that lies between.
If you will treat all men with the dignity that they deserve, if you will be both manly and affectionate, as you are, then you will find happiness on this earth. That is my most earnest wish.
With all my love,