Letters To Lucas: We Are All Human, And We Have Feelings

My son is over 13 months old now.  I can’t believe how much time has flown by since the nearly 51 hour marathon that his mother spent in labor back in late August 2017.  We thought he was going to be an eclipse baby on August 21st.  Lucas had other plans.  His due date was August 22nd, so we thought he would finally arrive then.  He decided to pop into this world at 12:59a on August 23rd, 2017.  My life has been changed by him, and I know that I will help shape his life over the years.  I was created to be Lucas’ father, and no one or nothing on this Earth can change that.  Seeing his face break into a smile or when he giggles makes my heart overflow with joy.  He is a wonderful little boy.  I love him so.

A lot of life changes are coming our way, so I thought I would take time to write letters to my son.  In the letters, I try to outline what’s going on in our lives currently and just things I’ve learned over the years.  Some of it isn’t groundbreaking.  In fact, most of it is a reminder to him that he’s worth something and that his mom and dad love him very, very much.  That no matter what life throws at him, that he will make it through…especially with the support of his family and friends.

One of the things that I wrote to him was that life is too short to be full of bitterness towards people we know and those that we “know”.  I put the second know in quotes, because I mainly reference those folks that we know through a single frame of reference: political activity.  Being in active leadership of a Republican Party wore me down.  It made me a bitter person, and I’m thankful for being able to take a break from active leadership for now.  Regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum, we are bigger than this.  We may have self-affixed titles of Republican, Democrat, Socialist, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, or whatever, but we are still human.  We still have feelings, and, regardless how thick of a skin you may have, words can and do hurt.  And it’s okay to admit that.

It’s easy to dehumanize people behind a screen and lob grenades at the opposing side because they are wrong, and you’re going to prove it with a long dissertation on Facebook or Twitter.  Heck, it’s even easier when “they” are either under the Gold Dome or in the Beltway in DC, but they are people too…just like us.  I could get into a discussion on why single-interest, hyper-partisan groups would rather perpetuate the discontent rather than find practical solutions to help continue their own existence, but that’s for another show.

Not to get all Mr. Rogers on you, but I like most of you.  Hey, I told you I’m not Mr. Rogers.  He would like all of you people, but you’re stuck with me.  I’ll be sure to issue refunds at the bottom of this post if you’re dissatisfied.  Anyway, what I mean is that we can like each other…even though we may not see eye-to-eye on policy, political talking points, or candidates.  I’ll be even more gracious and say that if you can’t like one another, then you can at least be nice and kind to one another.  You know, the whole thing of “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all” and “treat your neighbor as you would yourself”? Yeah, those.  It should go double for me.

Okay, with all of this talk, does it mean that I’ll follow it 100%?  No.  I know, I know.  I hear the collective gasps coming from across our great state and accusations of “hypocrite” about to be launched, but you did read the part about being human, right?  We aren’t perfect.  We can try, strive, and, by the grace of God, do better, but we’ll still fall.  It’s bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean we give up.  Nope, it means we get up and try again…maybe even a little harder….and show a little humility and say that we’re sorry.  I’m not saying apologize for your convictions and beliefs, but apologize for your behaviors and attitude if an argument gets too heated and emotions run too high.  It’s hard to say “I’m sorry”…especially when you’re convinced that you were trying to lay out a logical argument.  It’s practical advice that we should apply to our daily lives.  Again, I’m speaking for myself, but I’m willing to share.

Respect and grace are hard to show, but it requires a humble heart.  I know I won’t be a perfect father, but I know my actions will have an impact upon his life.  I want to show him how to treat other people with grace and respect…even when they may not deserve it.

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Ellynn
Ellynn

That is beautiful.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

As a fellow new dad these are wise words that, admittedly, I occasionally struggle to put into action.

Caroline
Caroline

Most people do. We’re all only human afterall. The saddest thing is that a lot of people have lost their basic humanity.

downthemiddle
downthemiddle

I agree and point out 2 words…bitterness and hatred…don’t be consumed by them ….haven’t we witnessed almost nothing but that since someone was elected? Well it was well on display before that when the barrages came…and isn’t this Supreme Court hearning nothing but that? Millions of pink hats…racist, racist, racist. Its not totally one sided…but to the casual observer it sure feels that way.

And tot day The unemployment rate hit a 49 year low and many folks are happy about that…many are filled with hate…

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Yeah, the guy ran on it and is delivering to MAGA.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I think we can easily look to points in the past and point out where so-and-so escalated the hate or divisiveness. I also think that there is nowhere near a moral equivalence between that escalation and the response to it.
But I also think that using escalations of the past to justify a hateful response now is not useful. But we also shouldn’t confound passionate protest with hate- in our actions, our reactions, and our analysis.

Ellynn
Ellynn

I am not filled with hate over the fact that in a 8 year time period the United States has gone from roughly 13% to 3.7%. unemloyement. Go USA. What I find mystifying is that the 6 years it took to go from the 13% to 5.1% is discarded and in your point of view Downy Boy, it’s only what happened in the last 19 months that counts. What I find gailing is that this 37% was achivibal years ago, if the house had looked at the one of the many corerate tax robosals they received from the administration. or… Read more »

Caroline
Caroline

Seriously you spew more of it per capita than anybody on this blog with your Gish Galloping nonsense accusing people of doing things that have no basis fact. I just find you to be a very sad lonely person. There you go again with your hatred of people standing up for their rights as women. I guess it infuriates you that they are not obeying your orders. Again, the unemployment rate is low but people are losing income. That is why they are mad. Something is deeply disfunctional in the economy if that is happening. I guess you are celebrating… Read more »

Caroline
Caroline

I’m sorry but any Trumper has no right to talk about anybody else. This is a person who put children in cages and bragged about it. Trumpers relish cruelty to other people. Again, I just find you incredibly sad and you must have a lot lacking in your life to say the things you do. All I hear from you is bitterness that it is not 1950 anymore where people know their “place” and don’t dare move out of it.

Gregs
Gregs

Milk and cookies always helped me as a child. Now I need a shot and a chaser. Whatever it takes to mellow you, you should do. I also like beer! Do you? Do you drink until you pass out? Have you ever forgotten what you did the night before?

Life can be good when you know what is and is not important. Go get some beers and find a friend to share them with. Who knows you too could get a high level appointment.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I’m going to point out something that really sticks in my craw… . Nathan writes a nice, optimistic post about being civil and recognizing our shared humanity. Folks read it, reflect on it, and post a positive reply thanking Nathan for the much-needed reflection. . Then, one person comes in here with an ill-tempered rant that shares neither the tone nor the theme of the subject post. A rant that clearly evidences the commenter made no effort to read or reflect on the words of the subject post. A rant that supports the undeniable conclusion that the commenter’s only goal… Read more »

downthemiddle
downthemiddle

Like most of your civil posts? On all topics. Not just this nice note.

bethebalance
bethebalance

DTM definitely wins for dropping the partisan pill in the nonpartisan punch. Never thought I’d say this, but DTM- take a look at how Sally kept the thread together without getting one-sided.
You did say “It’s not totally one-sided”, but then you qualified that, and kept your post dedicated to a partisan position.
The piece commanded some introspection, not finger-pointing.
Maybe read it again, and see if you can’t see the flip side of your perspective?

Gregs
Gregs

We call that introspection and not everyone is capable of it.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Beautiful, Nathan. We should all strive for such worthy goals, be kind to each other. Your lucky little boy has a wise dad.

Gregs
Gregs

“Like!”

IrishPat
IrishPat

Well said Nathan

Will Durant
Will Durant

Agree wholeheartedly. While binary algorithms now seemingly run the world along with a binary political structure here in the US, humans are not binary. As to online vs real world encounters I’m not sure that will ever change.

bethebalance
bethebalance

Love is a powerful force indeed. and can overcome any differences. It is of course easier to love your child than to love the stranger, and it’s even easier to extend that love in-person instead of electronically.
But it’s heartening to hear that efforts are being made.
May your words be heard.

auh2o
auh2o

Which two senators didn’t vote?