Lessons from “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Over the last few weeks I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (Actually I assigned it to my just turned thirteen year old to read, so I read it again to be able to quiz him about the book.) The Pulitzer Prize winning novel was written about a family living in Alabama during the 1930s and the struggles with prejudice in their small southern town, and the importance of standing upon principle, even when it may be unpopular.

As one who is old enough to remember experiencing the separate waiting rooms for blacks and whites at Dr. Pearce’s office in Orange, Texas, it was good to notice that my son could not even imagine such a situation existing today. I willingly admit that there is still prejudice in our world. I realize there will always be black politicians ready to pull out the “race card” to feather their own nest, and there will always be white people who will look down their collective noses upon blacks, considering them to be an inferior people, but as the old Virginia Slims commercial used to say (I am also old enough to remember cigarette commercials being on television): “You’ve come a long way, baby!”

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the solution to all of these issues is to be found in Christ. In this fallen world, we will always have less than the best, but for those who are in Christ we find this beautiful picture in the Book of Revelation, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)



  1. Charlotte said,

    April 19, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    This remains my favorite book. I am touched each time I read it. Poor author wrote for 8 years in her tiny apartment with practically nothing in it before she got up the nerve to take it to a publisher (on Truman Capote’s recommendation) and was then told it was not really a novel and had to start again. She once threw it out into the snow and called her publisher and told her she was quitting. Upon finding out she had to refund the advance, she retrieved her pages from the snow, wiped the dirt off, and began again. She did not understand the structure of a novel. She learned the hard way. Apparently, there is another novel that will not be published until she dies. I’m glad she did not become a lawyer like her father wanted her to be.

    • cliftonr said,

      April 20, 2010 at 5:16 AM

      Even Caleb enjoyed it. He balks at any book that was chosen by someone else for him to read and yet once he got past the first chapter could be heard laughing and snickering in the next room as he read of the antics of Scout and Jem.

  2. Lauren said,

    April 20, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    We read that book just a few weeks ago and we all loved it!
    I hope he is enjoying it.

    • cliftonr said,

      April 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM

      Caleb did finish it, and now we are waiting on a couple of books, one about the Boston Massacre, and another about the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

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