Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Corporate Evil, Culture, Empathy, Family, My Fatherhood, Parents
After the revelations of yesterday, I thought I’d add one final nail in the coffin of optimism by showing you an answer Desmond Tutu gave in an interview from 2007.
I have to be honest, these 2 questions have had a profound affect on me.
The first is because I absolutely relate to the feeling of joy about having a son.
Full disclosure. When Otis was born, I wasn’t at my happiest.
To be absolutely honest, it took me 5 weeks to truly emotionally connect with him. Before that, I was spending all my time trying to get my head around the situation.
But now … oh my goodness.
That boy is everything to me.
The love I have for him is impossible to describe.
A few weeks ago he gave me his first unprompted kiss.
While it was more sound effect than tenderness, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.
And seeing him try to copy things I’ve done just melts my heart.
Yes, I know the last thing he should do is copy me if he wants a fulfilling life, but when you see a 16 month old kid try to match his steps to yours, I defy anyone to not be moved.
Which leads to Desmond Tutu’s second answer.
An answer that is devastating in it’s description.
Not just because he talks about the risk of us destroying each other, but he underlines the severity of the danger by adding …
“… and the whole of creation”.
He said this in 2007.
When I think of 2007, the World seems a softer, safer, happier place but now I am worried.
We have religious extremists actively trying to create armageddon.
We have political leaders focused more on the rich, than the masses.
We have incredible inequality in society, where millions literally have no hope.
We have an social attitude focused on ‘me’ not ‘we’.
We have Donald Trump running for President on a platform of hate and fear.
I have a son.
A beautiful, wonderful son.
I don’t want his future to be bleak.
I don’t want his hopes to be dashed.
I don’t want his innocence to be destroyed.
And I fear for all of those things, especially as I know they will all happen in some way … I have to just hope they won’t happen as badly as they could.
Sure, some of these feelings are because I have a son, so I look at the future differently now. Actually, to be more precise, the way I look at the future now is acknowledging there will be a time I won’t be there to protect him.
I hope that time is a long, long time away, but it will happen and all I can do is prepare him to deal with the trials, tribulations and joys of life with grace, positivity and compassion.
Maybe these are the same sort of worries my parents had when I was young.
Maybe these are the same sort of decisions my parents made about raising me.
Maybe these are the things every parent thinks about … just the names of the protagonists change.
But what worries me about that is it implies I should shut up because it will all sort itself out eventually … and while that might happen, my worry is ‘who will be doing the sorting’ and ‘do I trust their approach in doing it’?
There’s so much I don’t know but what I am sure of is that parenthood is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced, but it doesn’t half fuck with your brain.
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