“If you can think and speak and communicate in writing you’re unbelievably powerful in the authority manner because arguments move the world forward.” – Jordan Peterson
49 weeks ago, you were born into a fallen world that becomes more chaotic and broken by the day.
I know, total downer way to start a letter. But looking around at the crazy and then down at my perfect baby…the starkness of contrast is startling. It demands my attention. So over and over through the past year, I have worried, prayed, written…about this crushing feeling of intimidation.
How do I raise a godly man amid such confusion and discord? Will I be smart enough to answer your questions? Will my actions guide you in the right direction?
You are a white male. Born into a city outsiders love to hate. In some circles that’s three strikes before you’ve even stepped up to the plate. Many who claim to hate stereotypes and assumptions will have no problem attaching them to you. Therefore it’s our job as parents to teach you to rise above, and prove them wrong.
Your dad and I believe in the imago dei. That all human beings are children of God, made in the image of God, and should be treated accordingly. Unfortunately that is not always the case, even in the most advanced societies. So we recognize that as Christians we are called to be on mission, to heal hurts and bridge divides. It is the primary and most important work of our earthly lives.
Sounds simple, and in some ways it is. Love God, love people. Got it. Done & done. The trouble (among other things) is government. It exists to bring order to chaos but currently it is creating quite a bit of chaos of its own. As a result a loud and rowdy crowd has emerged and there seems to be no acceptable way to disagree with them. Get in line or get insulted, those are your options. It is very difficult not to let your emotion overpower your intelligence when attempts at presenting a peaceful counterpoint are met with sarcasm, disdain, character attacks.
But I promise you, I am learning. I have stepped out of the debate ring and left the political arena in favor of study. I am dedicated to understanding the past and present, and effective communication. Challenging myself to be well-versed in all sides of the issues and then forming my own structured, complete arguments rather than always paraphrasing or regurgitating what is readily available. I hope by doing so, I will be able pass on the gift of perspective and articulation to you. Because aside from faith, I believe those are two of the greatest gifts your dad and I can give you.
They are not easy skills to acquire, but I am fighting mental fatigue and technologically-inspired laziness, facing my feelings of inadequacy, because I love you far too much to send you out into this world without the knowledge and confidence to stand up for your truth. The higher you climb, the more determined the opposition will be to tear you down. The mama in me wants to respond by keeping you sheltered under my wing, but that’s opposite of good parenting. You were made to be courageous, and I hope you will gain such a spirit by following (your dad’s and) my lead.
When the wolves come and hunt me down
I will face them all and stand my ground
‘Cause there’s a fire burnin’ in me
They will see my strength in this love I found