There has never been a father—a good one anyway—that did not at least occasionally look at what was happening around them and question the world they were bringing up their kids in. This is worth remembering today, as you watch the news or the stock market, whether you’ve got adult kids or just found out you’re having your first.
Yes, it looks scary out there…but it’s always been scary. Just three years ago, on that somber, confusing day for many people—the day a certain president was elected—hospitals were full of mothers giving birth and new fathers being minted. You think the COVID-19 pandemic is scary? Imagine you and your family just survived WWI and here comes the Spanish Flu. Even the supposedly idyllic 1950s actually occurred under the claustrophobic terror of potential nuclear annihilation. And if you were black, or gay, or any other number of minorities, it was even more repressive still.
It might feel like this is a bad time to be bringing kids into the world, that what’s happening out there should alarm you. But again, it’s always been scary and always will be scary. Fathers have had to raise their children through plagues and civil wars. They’ve faced pogroms and changing climates. They’ve stared down appalling infant mortality rates, along with failed states, incompetent kings, and moral corruption.
There will never be a time peaceful enough, upstanding enough, fair enough, bright enough, calm enough to reassure you. All we can do as dads is keep going—we must keep carrying the fire. We must do our best to raise good kids who can survive and endure and make the world a little better. And we should be grateful that as scary as the world is…we’re luckier it’s not as scary as it once was.