The Kinds of Stories to Tell Them

It was a dark time. The world was falling apart. School was a distant memory. All they had was time. 

Is this your life? Or is it the plot of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road?

Among the beautiful, haunting paragraphs in that book is this one:

He banked the fire against the seam of the rock where he’d built it and he strung the tarp behind them to reflect the heat and they sat warm in their refuge while he told the boy stories. Old stories of courage and justice as he remembered them until the boy was asleep in his blankets.

Thankfully, our situation isn’t as dire as his. COVID-19 is not the end of the world. We are not in the apocalypse. But in a sense, that makes the telling of stories even more imperative. Because we are not crazy to have hope. All is not lost. We really do have a future to prepare our children for. 

So what stories are you telling them? Funny tales about pizza and alligators and robots? Or are you teaching them about courage and justice? Are you putting them in front of a screen… or taking them back to the myths of history? Are you reading them whatever books people gave them as birthday gifts, or are you searching for stuff that really does the job of setting them on the course to live well and be great? 

Our kids don’t just need to be entertained, after all. They need to be inspired, they need to be taught, they need to be inculcated with those timeless virtues that will serve them whether society falls apart or thrives.

You have to do that. Because they need it… but also you need it. You need the reminder. You need courage and justice. We all do.

Ryan’s new book, The Boy Who Would Be King, is a timeless parable about the Four Stoic Virtues: courage, justice, temperance and wisdom. It’s a story about the journey of Marcus Aurelius from a timid boy to the ruler of the known world that has so many exciting and inspiring lessons, you’ll want to read it as a family. Check it out now!

P.S. This was originally sent on March 15, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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