You love your kids more than anything. They are so special to you. Your eyes close when you think about them. Your heart softens. There is nothing you wouldn’t do for them. No one who means more.
Think about them for a second. Do you feel that radiating warmth? Do you feel it coming over you? You just want to hug them, right? Maybe you even want to cry. That’s what being a father is.
Now take a minute to consider the many people whom you share that feeling with. Consider how basically every single person, even murderers on death row, even the rude person who just shoved you in the supermarket, even the billionaire you think is destroying our political system, has that same feeling about their kids. Run it backwards and forwards too. Cleopatra felt that about her daughter. Frederick Douglass felt it about his sons. So too did billions of ordinary people in small towns and caves and ships on stormy oceans.
Being a parent is something special. It’s also something that is nearly universal. We would be kinder and more forgiving and have more common ground if we could remember that more often. If we could remember that the people on the other side of the debate or the business transaction or the PTA meeting are worried about their kids too. That they are capable of love and tenderness and joy.
That we’re all in this together, and have been as a species for as far back as we go. That we all share something truly wonderful. That we are all doing the best we can.