It’s July 14th, the sun set about an hour and half ago. This afternoon, your mother and I brought you home from the hospital. One day, when you are ready, I will share this letter with you because I think reflection is important for personal growth. I can hear Mishifu downstairs meowing and I’m sitting next to your mom on the bed while she’s feeding you. Every now and then, I can hear you breath or suckle. It’s calm and peaceful. Right before sunset, I walked you down the block in your stroller. I brought you home to your mom, and then I did a small workout carrying some weights around the block. It feels almost normal. Almost. This year, has been a strange year. So strange, that to use the numbers that represent it would detract from this letter. There has been a pandemic going for about four months now. Most people are wearing masks around when they are in public, and taking your home from the hospital was a relief. At the same time, I’m reflecting on what it means to bring you into this world during this time.
When you witness birth, you can see a lot more clearly. We construct so much man made apparatus, both physically and mentally, which distracts from the very real and unpredictable biology of life. Our biology is a mix of the genetics from our two parents, and a bit of mutation. Some might call it luck, others might call it an arbitrary but particular combination of genes, cells, and hormones, Either way, it’s messy. Biology isn’t like computers or software, you can’t completely control it, at least not yet, not at the time of this writing.
Right now, biology is center stage in the world. There are news articles being updated multiple times per day, every day. Everyone is nervous about what this means for the future. We hope and think there will be a vaccine, but there’s a lot of uncertainty. This uncertainty extends to our deepest thoughts. I ask myself everyday whether I can keep you safe, but I think I can. I keep telling myself, we had 20,000 ancestors that felt essentially zero security about the future, but they did it anyway. They succeeded. Every. Single. Time. Looking backwards, they succeeded every single generation, without fail. So, I guess what we bringing you into is more similar to what our ancestors went through than any time in recent history. Until the last four months, as a society, we had grown very comfortable, and fallen into a state of believing we could control almost every natural phenomenon. Perhaps the uncertainty we feel today is a more natural state. Perhaps, we are feeling what all of our ancestors felt.
Culture is so many things. It’s the way we treat each other, it’s our collective psychology. It’s the technology, finance, government and economic system. All of these things are inextricably linked to our identity. Even with the uncertainty, we have more control over our lives than we’ve ever had. Finance and technology have given us the ability to express our own desires, good or bad, so much more powerfully. But, we are forever tinted with the color of our own subconscious biases ingrained in us from birth within our own culture. Our own personal wills are so often unconsciously expressed in the very real context of our own culture.
I will attempt to instill in you an appreciation for your own culture. I hope you never have to feel guilt or fear about your own ancestry and culture. At the same time, I hope you grow up to have a deep curiosity, and appreciation for other cultures. I hope you never come to the conclusion that our culture is great because their culture is terrible. That is a broken way to look at the world. We can be great, and they can be great. Cultures evolve and survive in a manner not all together different than biological populations of creatures, but they don’t need to go to war.
It will not be easy, but our future depends on how well we treat each other ( Ray Dalio my 2020 man crush).
Your culture and your biology are but the clay from which you are formed. The foundation. The fine grained detail and specific permutation of who you become will combine this foundation with a lot of hard work from your mother and me, but will ultimately depend on you. Your biology, culture, and our parental influences will forever have an effect on you, but in the end you will have to decide what you want in life. You will have to decide what you are passionate about. The best advice I can give is that chasing something you are passionate about will lead to greater success than grinding through something you don’t love. That’s not to say that you won’t still have to grind. If you love something the grind will be worth it, but if you don’t love it, it won’t pay dividends.
Your mother and I will always try and be supportive of helping you discover what you are passionate about, but we will not be able to do the work for you. You will have to decide how much you can put in, but let me assure you the more you put in, the more you will get out of life. Whether it’s financial, recreational, residential, or social in nature, it will require passion and hard work. Neither is enough alone.
The future is uncertain, but I promise you that I will do the best that I can do to provide you a good life. This family is surely my passion, and so I will work hard.
The hospital we brought you home from today was only a couple of miles away, but it’s been a long journey. You’ve already been to Italy and Greece in your mother’s belly and I hope this world rights itself so that we can take you to see more of it. I hope we ride dirt bikes in Ecuador, speaking Spanish together, and eating great food. Or, perhaps, we will do none of this because you would prefer to do something else. Either way, I will give it the same level of passion and hard work.