Open Letter to my kids part 2: On Values

My mind works in lists. And I suspect I will be processing and contemplating these particular veins of thought for a few days… or maybe a few lifetimes. So I offer a patented dt list as a follow up to part 1.

  1. Tennis: I am so glad that our path led us to the courts. I love so much watching you compete. I love the quiet atmosphere of the matches. I like how it’s up to the players to call their own lines and how you tend to call it in if it’s even close. And how when the other guy calls it out and you didn’t think it was, you may give an incredulous look, but you quickly move on and play the next point. And I really like watching you strive, and your response when you hit a great shot or a smash, and the laughter you share with your buddies or your opponent. It’s grand. And I want you to be the best…. BUT I want you to always win because I think that it would make you feel better. Damn you would, why do you always torment me? If you are number one or number seven or whatever that is not the important thing. I respect the game because it challenges you to become. To grow. To learn about yourself. And others.

Watching y’all play ball in the back yard from the clovers to the trampoline has as much value for me as celebrating a victory on the courts. Because it is you being you. Existing. And I get to be part of it!!! I hope I haven’t provided pressure to you to win so that you can feel valued. I’m just glad you are. And it’s fun to see who you are on the courts, disc golf course, in the clovers, playing hall ball, or hitting the volleyball in the air to yourself in the backyard. I don’t know what sense that makes, but…

2. Academics. Oh the rat race of weighted classes and class rank and standardized test scores and jockeying for position to obtain scholarships or acceptance to this or that college, blah blah. You all know how I despise the grading system. We have “school” in which learning takes a back seat to playing the game. You are all so intelligent. Sharp. Witty. And you study hard to make sure that you get the high marks on tests and such that you want.

But I do hate the sense of dread that you sometimes feel about the possibility of not doing well. Usually it’s overblown drama, as you will come home with a 97 anyway 😉 but I understand the pressure you feel. Hopefully not from me.

All I want for you is to continue to be contemplative. Reflective. That you pursue things and ideas and practices that are True and Beautiful. That you realize that learning is good. Learning is good because it adds to your perspective. I wish we could see through the eyes of another as HDT states, but we can come close reading literature or studying history. A glimpse into the humanity of others through time and space. We can catch a glimpse of the wonder of creation studying science or theology or poetry. Learning is an end in itself! It makes you more fully human. Our educational system has forgotten that and transformed itself into a mindless factory churning out economic cogs in the machine. (whew, that was a statement lol)…. Pursue learning. Pursue humanity. Pursue truth and beauty, but please don’t get caught up in the swirl of grades and scores and all that nonsense.

3. Social stuff/relationships. Geez, I don’t even know how to start here. I cannot imagine navigating the tumultuous formative years of adolescence with the constant presence of the connective tech and social media that you all have to deal with. You never get to turn off from that world of imaginary performance and carefully crafted personality.

Look, I’m 43 years old, and I still struggle with relationships and understanding people and wanting folks to like me and want to hear what I think–it’s why I continue posting on Co6… haha one day I will reach millions 😉 .

People will do things that will elicit sadness and confusion and doubt and all the things. You will do things that will create that effect in others as well. As Scott and Seth sing: “I made decisions some right and some wrong/And I let some love go I wish wasn’t gone/These things and more I wish I had not done… but I done ’em” …

Here’s the thing. Or a thing. You don’t have to do anything. There is no bar you have to get over. No race you have to finish. I love you. No. Matter. What. Through all the things. Ups and downs and the places that seem mainly level. I like to see you strive and I hate to see you fall. But the falling is a real thing too. Maybe the realest. If you forget… remember. Remember who you are. A valued human. Valued to the utmost already. There is no way for you to increase the amount of value you have. In my eyes. In the eyes of the Maker. You are. And that is whole. Holy. Now I’m gonna go blast some Aretha.

BeLive. And think on the comment below that someone wrote about Pop. Grace and Peace my beloved kids!

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