What gives you the right? What’s your purpose on this planet? Why do you work so hard, why do you fight for the causes you fight for, why do you put up with all the crap you have to put up with in this life?
You know why. It’s because of that sleeping three year old in the other room. It’s because of that seventeen year old who just texted you. It’s because of those kids you brought into this world—those innocent, goodhearted boys and girls. The ones who are so much better than you, so kind, so decent, so deserving of a better future.
In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the unnamed father stares out over the wasteland that is his home. He watches the sun come up. He asks himself, why does he keep going? What is the point of all this? Where is the hope? “He knew only that the child was his warrant,” McCarthy writes. “He said: if he is not the word of God, God never spoke.”
You have that same warrant, in thankfully much less dire circumstances. But it still holds true. They are who you are carrying the fire for. This warrant, like all authority, comes with great responsibility. It’s not an excuse—it’s not a justification for dream hoarding or selfishness or hypocrisy or any other abuses. No, it’s a second chance. It’s what you were put on this planet to do.
So do it. Do it well. Do it like the future depends on it. Because it does.
P.S. This was originally sent on August 10, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”