It has been a dark and unkind world the past couple of weeks – terrorist attacks and fires in London, shootings in San Francisco and Washington D.C., and countless others that didn’t make the news. Perhaps I had been desensitized over the years by the regular flow of negative news from the media, but since you were born, I’ve become increasingly affected and scared by these events.
It’s not hard to understand why I would feel this way – I’m responsible for your life too now, which means shielding you from harm whether that’s physical or mental. Or just plain Trump.
A large part of me is relieved you’re too young to understand anything that’s actually happening, meaning I can naively hope the world will fix itself in the next five years, as well as procrastinate a while longer on coming up with explanations for all the craziness that we live in. But I still think about what or how I would frame things for you. Should I just give it you straight? Find the silver linings? Be proactive about telling you these things that are going on? Or just wait until you can finally observe them yourself?
I do know what I want to avoid, and that’s raising you in a bubble where real world events are just factual events that elicit no real emotion. I want you to be worldly, optimistic, humble, sympathetic, empathetic, and kind. I think that means framing events and situations from multiple perspectives – contemplating how it affected others and not yourself.
Unfortunately, we are an egotistical species living in an egotistical society and we are not predisposed to be selfless. Fortunately, we naturally become a little more selfless when we bring new lives into this world, and we are predisposed procreating (but only when you can support the new life in all ways!).