A Letter to my Unborn Child:

What can we truly promise our children in this life?

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To my unborn boy or girl:

I’m not sure when we’ll meet. I’m not sure what you’ll look like. I’m not sure what your name will be.

I am almost certain, however, that it will be difficult to find a wife that will let me name you Germanicus, Octavia, Aurelius, Augusta, or any other name of my choosing.

I’m unsure if you’ll take an interest to sport, art, or literature. I’m unsure about your sexual orientation or you skin colour. None of these things are, or will be, a concern to me.

I couldn’t possibly love you any more or any less than I already do. Existence and creation are love, after all, and you will spring from that very same eternal source of life – but I digress.


Germanicus
Germanicus Giorgi? [Source: Wikipedia]

You’ll quickly learn that we humans have a cruel obsession with guarantees. We dislike when the world around us isn’t concrete and stable. We constantly fight against the perpetual uncertainty that is life. Guarantees create an illusion of safety for us, and we are content to live our lives in that illusion.

Though I don’t remember mine personally, I’m sure your birth will be a difficult time for you. You are uncertain what to expect, you are completely dependant on others, and you are unable to defend yourself. It is for this reason that I search for guarantees to give you to put your thoughts to rest; to create an illusion of safety for you.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed there isn’t many I can give you.


I can’t promise you protection. Danger comes hand in hand with stepping outside of your comfort zone and truly experiencing life. I don’t want you to play it safe. I want you to climb mountains and travel the world. To protect you would be to keep you close. To protect you would be to smother you. I want you to come, to see, and to conquer.

I can’t promise you happiness. I can give you comfort. I can give you warmth, bread, and a roof over your head. I can give you private schools or new hockey gear, but nothing I can give you will ever make you happy. You are, and always will be, responsible for your own happiness. I will help you down that path as much as I can, but happiness is your choice.

I can’t promise you I’ll know the answers. I’m a human, just like you. We are fallible; we make mistakes. I want you to never be afraid to fail. It’s okay to make a mistake. Too often do parents play the charade of perfection in front of their children, and reprimand them for not being perfect themselves. I’ll be as new to being a parent as you will be to being a child. We’ll both mess up along the way, but we’re in this together.

I can’t promise you I’ll always be there. I want you to embrace your independence and to realize how efficient you truly are. I’m going to let you figure some things out on your own. I’ll probably find it difficult and will intervene more than I should, but that’s part of my learning experience.

Big picture, we’re all mortal. One day I’ll pass on from this silly dream. When that happens, the more I’ve let you trip and fall along the way the more you’ll be ready to face this world alone. I need you know to how strong and capable you are.

I can’t promise you’ll be popular. Kids can be mean. They grow up in a society that makes them feel extremely uneasy in their own skin. Many of them will project those insecurities onto you. It will hurt.

I’ll take the time to show your true worth. You’ll learn, as a child of the stars, how perfect you are. I can’t promise you’ll be popular, but you’ll be in a place to take pity on insecure bullies rather than being hurt by them.


“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Speeches.


In the end, the only thing I can really promise you is that I won’t promise you anything – except for my eternal and undying love.

Your proud dad,

Michael.

An Open Letter to Joe Rogan:

I realised that hate is a reflection. The things we think we loath serve as our greatest mirrors. The hateful things we say tell us more about ourselves than they do about the person we say them about.

Dear Joe (Joey? Joseph? Giuseppe? You’re right – let’s just stick with Joe),

You don’t know me and you probably never will. Odds are slim that you’ll ever read this, but that doesn’t matter.

I just wanted to say that I’m sorry. Let me explain:



I once hated you Joe Rogan.
The sound of your voice. Your shiny, bald head. The fact I couldn’t watch a UFC highlight without hearing your screams of astonishment and excitement. I hated all of it. I brushed off the people who talked about your pod-cast or stand up comedy. I assumed they were the same borderline retarded individuals that spent their week nights watching Fear Factor (which I hated you for as well). I hated idea of the very stench of you, which assumed would be like stale cigarettes and cat faeces.

This was the kind of arbitrary, empty hate people have towards the Yankees or Lebron James. It transcended reason, and was something in the very core of my being. This was something deep seeded and toxic. You weren’t the only one who I felt this way about, either.

At the time, it didn’t even dawn on me how absolutely ridiculous it was to have such judgemental and negative thoughts towards another person, especially someone I was in a one-way relationship with. I was so lost in my life that I would blindly project my negativity onto someone I didn’t even know.

A few years ago I left my home town and began a journey of self discovery. Like many who begin a journey to find themselves, I’ve come across various Eastern philosophies regarding the self. 

It led me to a Buddhist practice of compassion. In this practice, one thinks of someone they love, then move onto someone they are neutral about, and then finally someone they hate the most. They love, forgive, and find compassion for each one of those people. The practice is designed to get harder with each progression in order to put us outside of our comfort zone. It is a powerful process that allows us to let go of useless and destructive negative energy.

I had slowly become a different person over my travels, and was truly learning to let go of harmful negativity that I had always accepted in my life. When I discovered this practice of compassion, I immediately committed to doing it every morning. Eventually the practice resulted in a painful revelation.

I had slowly worked through the people in my life who I had been holding a grudge against, or had a bad history with. My options were running out. This particular time I had to think of someone I hated, it was you, Joe Rogan.

I couldn’t understand it. It actually bothered me. Why did I hate you so much?

Finally, and somewhat reluctantly, I found the answer. Facing that answer brought a certain peace, and taught me something very important about all of us.


I realized that there was nothing at all that I hated about you.

Your bald head bothered me because I had spent countless hours in my vanity worried I would go bald before I turned fifty. It didn’t define you like I thought it might define me.

The sound of your voice was not unlike my own, which I had always hated for its raspy sound. I hated mine because it was unique. Your voice captured people’s attention, and I was too ashamed to have mine heard.

Being a sweaty athlete as a child and a young adult, I always had a fear of being the smelly kid. I assumed I didn’t smell good, and you were again a reflection of this.

I started to realise you and everyone else I felt negatively towards had always served as a magnifying glass for my own insecurities about myself. When I thought about a person that I hated, whether it was you or my arch enemy from high school who popped into my head, I was actually thinking about myself.

You were chasing the things that knocked your head back. You were exploring all the wonders that caught your eye. You were completely indulging in the authentic you, and I resented that. I hated you because I knew, deep down, that for the past twenty something years I wasn’t doing me. You weren’t anyone but yourself, and I was everyone except myself.

I realised that hate is a reflection. The things we think we loath the most serve as our greatest mirrors. The hateful things we say tell us more about ourselves than they do about the person we say them about. Nelson Mandela once wrote that we must learn to hate; I would add that we must first learn to hate ourselves.

I was afraid to turn my lens of observation inwards, so I projected my hatred onto you. This realisation has been the single greatest catalyst for the vigorous campaign of self-love and acceptance that I’m on today.

So I also wanted to thank you, Joe Rogan. For in my desire to find love and compassion for you, and everyone else I felt negatively towards, I found it instead for myself.

Love and respect,

~MG.