To My Future Son, Should He Come to Be

I worry about the world I have brought you into. I worry that your experiences will not be everything that you deserve. I worry that you were conceived in selfishness.

With each passing day, I understand more fully how doomed we are. The worst of us rise to the top. The way we treat each other is terrifying and cruel, and our march toward enlightenment is slow at best.

With any luck, all of this will be lost on you for as long as possible. You will know kindness. You will experience gentleness. Above all, you will be given the chance to know what safe feels like.

But these illusions will not last forever.

I don’t know what will happen first. Maybe something of yours will be stolen. Maybe you’ll witness an accident, or be involved in one. Perhaps you’ll see something on a television somewhere that sends poisonous shock waves through your brain. Something will happen, and on that day I will feel I have failed you.

But on that day, when the truth is too obvious to ignore, and you finally realize what the world is, I admit to hoping that the moment does not pass unmarked. I hope the blinding contrast between your idyllic upbringing and the harshness of the world brings you to tears. If I am at all successful, you’ll speak up with thunderous moral clarity, like a Martin Luther King or an Edward Snowden. And if we’re fortunate, you’ll know what to do about the future.

What I’m telling you is that we’re not doing so well as a species. We are failing. And we need you. You are all there is for us.

You are all we have.

I’m so sorry.