conflicts on being a dad

in a violence happy world

I'm an adult. I can take my entertainment with violence. I can take my politics with hypocrisy. What I don't want is to be a hypocrite to my child.

I am conflicted, confused, and really sad. As far back as I can remember I have deplored violence as a means to an end. That is all that I see though.

I want to teach my son and any future siblings that violence is not the answer. Even more I want to teach him that there is a better way. I want to teach him that talking can work through things. I want to teach him that it's okay, no that it's good to listen to those you disagree with and to work out a compromise. I want to teach him that it does not make him less of a man - but more of a man to do so.

I want him to know that we all can feel like we want to hurt people. We all have felt it. We all can feel that we want to do harm to make us feel better or to teach someone a lesson. It's okay to feel that way. I want to teach him there are better ways to act on it though.

But I am sad, because there is no model to follow. There are no role models out there to show that this is the way and it can work. There were a few many years ago. There have been none that I am aware of in my lifetime.

Today, whether it be in pop culture, or in the news I see the same storyline/headline:

"We want peace." "We want understanding." "We want it through non-violent means."

But this time we need to kick some ass/kill someone/decimate a country to bring it about. Just this time we need to compromise our values to bring peace and we will never need to do it again.

Until the next person/country provokes fear in us, until someone disrespects us, until next week's episode of the tv show the end justifies the means.

When was the last time we heard of a government offering diplomacy not at the end of a gun? When was the last time the peacekeeping force on a tv show didn't pull a gun on a 'perp' or beat down the bad guy to get the info to stop the big explosion?

I don't want to be blinded by my optimism and assume my child will grow up in a world without violence. What I do want is my child to see a word where violence is not the first, second, or third option.

I want my child to know that if someone starts to beat him up he can fight back. That is okay. But if he is mad someone punched him yesterday it is not okay to gather all of his friends together to go punch that person over and over again.

I want my child to know that if words hurt as much as fists - because a lot of fists fly after words are spoken - that words that help and heal are just as powerful.

For this to happen I need to be the role model that I want for him.

I just hope in my wishes and my optimism others will rise to what I aspire to do, others will stand up where I fall, and more people will see that there was a brief time when there were people on the world stage that walked this walk and begin to do so again. I do it selfishly for my son.

I hope others will be as selfish as I am with my son.

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