You Must Adjust Accordingly

It doesn’t matter how old you are, you grew up in a society and a culture that was less inclusive and less diverse than the one we’re in now. Certainly one that was less sensitive too. 

The question is, then, can you adjust? Can you adjust to a parenting style, even a lifestyle that was very different than the one you grew up with? 

The scientist Jennifer Doudna’s father was an English professor. It wasn’t until he had a young daughter that he realized that almost all the books he assigned to his students were written by men. Having a daughter made him realize how acutely unfair this was, how this deprived his students of perspectives and inspiration. So, as Walter Isaacson writes in his fascinating biography of Jennifer Doudna and her work which one her a Nobel Prize, her father quietly “added Doris Lessing, Anne Tyler, Joan Didion to his syllabus.” He started bringing books home to his daughter that might inspire her too. 

Like a good father (and human being), he adjusted. Not out of political correctness but real empathy. And what was the effect? Did he lose his spine or his manhood? Did censorship win? No, his choice made the world better! His students were better and his ability to connect with his daughter was better…and decades later, the world became better as a result of this adjustment (you can thank Doudna and by extension her father for your COVID-19 MRNA vaccine). 

Don’t be an idiot. Don’t be frozen in time. Don’t close your mind. 


P.S. This was originally sent on June 9, 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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