“I’m a Better Father Because of You,” the Story of How Kevin Hart Forgave His Father for Being Absent During His Childhood
We’ve come to know Kevin Hart as a comedian and actor who is brimming with energy and positivity. But he didn’t always have it easy. He had a troubled childhood due to his absent father. Sadly, his dad passed away recently, and Hart honored his memory with a touching post that shows just how much love he had for his father despite his shortcomings.
Hart used his painful childhood memories as punch lines for his stand-up comedy acts.
The comedian’s father, Henry Witherspoon, suffered from personal struggles and anger issues when Hart was younger. He was not very present in his children’s lives, and eventually, his mother decided to raise their 2 kids by herself.
The recap of Hart’s biographical documentary on Netflix shows us how Hart used his childhood memories for his funny bits. He talked about his dad throwing him in a pool when he didn’t know how to swim. Hart also said that one time, his father stole the $20 he received as a gift, and even stole the neighbor’s dog.
“The reason I am the way I am is because my mom was strong,” Hart explained in an article. “She said, ’Look, regardless of whatever your father’s doing and where he is, I have a job to do raising you...and you’re going to grow up to be 2 intelligent men,’ me and my brother.”
His father’s behavior greatly influenced the kind of dad that Hart wanted to be.
The actor revealed that his kids think he’s the “coolest dad on the planet.” He believes that witnessing firsthand what kind of impact an absent father leaves on his children made him want to do better.
“The way I look at it now, I’m such a great father because I don’t want to make the mistakes that my dad made,” said Hart. In one interview, he said that he is the grown man that he is today because of all the trials and tribulations that he experienced to get to where he is now.
Hart and his brother took it upon themselves to help their dad become a better person.
At their father’s lowest point, they took him back in and gave him the help he needed. They placed him in an institution where he learned to turn his life around. Luckily, Hart was doing well in his career, and he was in a position to provide for his father.
“Here’s a home, here’s a car. Here’s some money. Go spend time with your grandkids. Be the best grandpop. The days that you missed with me were the days that you missed, that’s fine. I’m okay with that,” he explained in one video. But he also clarified, “You can’t fake a bond that’s not a bond.” While there was father-and-son love between them, the special bond still needed to be earned.
Hart credits his positive outlook as the reason why he is able to look past his father’s mistakes.
When he was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Hart said, “I was strong enough to deal with it because I have a different attitude. I’m a positive guy. I choose to go positive instead of negative. And because of that, my relationship with my dad is amazing now, and my dad understands how I feel and how I look at things. And my dad is focusing on being the best grandparent.”
He continued, “You always have a choice to make. My thing is, I don’t have time to be angry. You know how much time it takes to hold an attitude and a grudge? That’s time and energy! I don’t have that time!”
The actor expressed his love for his father when he paid tribute to him on social media.
Their mended relationship allowed Hart and his father to spend some time together as a complete, happy family. Sadly, Witherspoon recently passed away at age 73, and Hart took to Instagram to honor his dad. He posted photos of their fun times together, and he thanked his father for everything. Hart lovingly ended the caption by saying, “I’m a better father because of you. We will all make you proud.”
How about you, how would you describe your relationship with your parents? Do you easily forgive your loved ones who’ve made mistakes?