I type this while listening to The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, MD.
“We are made to seek happiness and it is clear that feelings of love, closeness and compassion bring happiness.” -Dalai Lama
Exactly 24 hours before the result of the election, I got into an online argument with my father.
He reacted to an article that I posted on my Facebook page. The article was written by a female Republican pundit, a daughter of immigrants; it was about her many reasons to vote for Hilary, or more accurately, to vote against Trump. What began as a political commentary quickly morphed into insulting our family, statements that I deliver “shallow responses” that are overly-influenced by liberal media and humanist ideals, and accusations that I lack morality. He continued by speaking of his failure as a father as a spiritual guide and wrapped up with his feelings of alienation, which, in my opinion are the root of his pain.
So, I told him I love him; that I hope he knows that. And I wrote a plea. A plea directed at his sentimentality: the only way I know how to get through to him.
As a guide to the truth, your responsibility is to expose us to it. It is my responsibility to take the next step to incorporate it into my belief. Into my faith. So, I would argue that you have done your duty.
I am on a search for meaning and truth. You’ve told me before about the moment that you had in the garage, where you asked God to show you the way and he answered you. Do I not deserve my own moment with him? Wouldn’t you rather I find him myself, with my own conviction?
We are in much different places in our lives. Do you remember what it was like to be in your early 30’s? You had only recently met mom. I have only recently met Aaron. I am discovering what is important as I contemplate my life with him. How we will raise our children. Harken back to that time of discovery in your own life’s journey. I deserve the space to find my purpose.
I ask for your acceptance of our differences. I ask for your patience as I find my way. And I ask for expressions of kindness. I am a part of you and you are a part of me. We deserve to be kind to each other.
My father is a man of great conviction and passion. A commendable attribute (something that I truly believe Trump lacks, which was part of my previously mentioned “shallow response”). However, when fear gets the best of him, when sadness and isolation overwhelm him, he says things that cannot be unsaid. I know his heart is in the right place.
“In spite of everything, I still think that people are really good at heart.” -Anne Frank