The One Harper Lee Quote I’ll Never Forget
As I’m sure you all know by now, Harper Lee passed away on February 19. She was 89.
I’ve always been a huge Harper Lee fan, and To Kill A Mockingbird still stands as my second favorite book to this point on the Time list. The book is genius.
After finding out about her death, I was reading through some quotes from the novel. It’s incredible how many memorable lines fill the pages of TKAM. So, so many great quotes.
But one, more than any other, stood out to me. It’s this:
“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.”
That’s a quote from Scout, talking about her father, Atticus Finch.
I could dive into that quote from many different angles. On the surface, the quote might appear political–and maybe it is to some extent.
But I love that quote because of its paradoxical nature. How can a man who hates gun and hasn’t fought in a war be brave? That’s so weak, so lame. Our notion of bravery involves bullets and battlegrounds. It involves The Rock fighting the bad guy and throwing him out the third floor window.
But bravery certainly isn’t some liberal southern lawyer with “misguided” moral values that go against the status quo. Or is it?
I think Harper Lee is saying that real bravery is being true to your principles, no matter what. No matter whether the whole town thinks you’re a misguided idiot fighting a losing cause.
Atticus Finch hated guns and had never been to any wars. But, most importantly, he stayed true to his beliefs, even under intense opposition from a band of racist townfolk and tyrants. In the literary world, the man is legend.
Be brave like Atticus.
And, thank you, Harper Lee. God bless you.