The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

I’ve Never Been So Scared About Where We Are As A World …

After the revelations of yesterday, I thought I’d add one final nail in the coffin of optimism by showing you an answer Desmond Tutu gave in an interview from 2007.

I have to be honest, these 2 questions have had a profound affect on me.

The first is because I absolutely relate to the feeling of joy about having a son.

Full disclosure. When Otis was born, I wasn’t at my happiest.

To be absolutely honest, it took me 5 weeks to truly emotionally connect with him. Before that, I was spending all my time trying to get my head around the situation.

But now … oh my goodness.

That boy is everything to me.

The love I have for him is impossible to describe.

A few weeks ago he gave me his first unprompted kiss.

While it was more sound effect than tenderness, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.

And seeing him try to copy things I’ve done just melts my heart.

Yes, I know the last thing he should do is copy me if he wants a fulfilling life, but when you see a 16 month old kid try to match his steps to yours, I defy anyone to not be moved.

Which leads to Desmond Tutu’s second answer.

An answer that is devastating in it’s description.

Not just because he talks about the risk of us destroying each other, but he underlines the severity of the danger by adding …

“… and the whole of creation”.

He said this in 2007.

When I think of 2007, the World seems a softer, safer, happier place but now I am worried.

We have religious extremists actively trying to create armageddon.

We have political leaders focused more on the rich, than the masses.

We have incredible inequality in society, where millions literally have no hope.

We have an social attitude focused on ‘me’ not ‘we’.

We have Donald Trump running for President on a platform of hate and fear.

I have a son.

A beautiful, wonderful son.

I don’t want his future to be bleak.

I don’t want his hopes to be dashed.

I don’t want his innocence to be destroyed.

And I fear for all of those things, especially as I know they will all happen in some way … I have to just hope they won’t happen as badly as they could.

Sure, some of these feelings are because I have a son, so I look at the future differently now. Actually, to be more precise, the way I look at the future now is acknowledging there will be a time I won’t be there to protect him.

I hope that time is a long, long time away, but it will happen and all I can do is prepare him to deal with the trials, tribulations and joys of life with grace, positivity and compassion.

Maybe these are the same sort of worries my parents had when I was young.

Maybe these are the same sort of decisions my parents made about raising me.

Maybe these are the things every parent thinks about … just the names of the protagonists change.

But what worries me about that is it implies I should shut up because it will all sort itself out eventually … and while that might happen, my worry is ‘who will be doing the sorting’ and ‘do I trust their approach in doing it’?

There’s so much I don’t know but what I am sure of is that parenthood is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced, but it doesn’t half fuck with your brain.

23 Comments so far
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Welcome to fatherhood Robert. 50% joy, 50% sheer fear.

Comment by George

50:50. fucking show off.

Comment by andy@cynic

I hate to admit it, but I had totally underestimated this fatherhood thing … both in terms of the joy it would give me and the nervousness. The bit that in the most uncomfortable is the realisation I won’t be around forever to make sure he is OK.

I hope I am around for a long time … but the reality is there will be a moment in the future where I won’t be and I hate the idea of him having to deal with that and I hate the idea of me not being there to look out for him, even though I know I have to let him make his own mistakes as my parents did to me. Like letting me wear birkenstocks.

But yeah, 50% joy, 50% sheer fear just about sums it all up perfectly.

Comment by Rob

You live in China, that’s probably the safest place in the world right now. Except for the food and the air.

Comment by DH

Though you pose a clear and present danger to everyone there.

Comment by DH

id be fucking scared of calling my kid trev. thats an act of fucking terrorism right there.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, I must admit that is a name that conjures up images of 1970’s man with a moustache and an MG. Mainly because the father of a kid down the road from me was called Trevor and he had a moustache and an MG. Lovely guy, but glad he wasn’t related to me. Ha.

Comment by Rob

bet the feelings fucking mutual campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

The truest and most terrifying part of all of that is, there’s not a damn thing any of us can do, except hide when the Big Boat drifts by. It isnt up to us, except in the small personal parts, and that’s always how it’s been, as long as there have been Cranky Men With Weapons.

And, yeah, when you have kids you want them to be safe, and you know they won’t be, any more than we were. Or are.

There now. Don’t you feel better.

Comment by judyt54

Addendum: the only thing scarier than Trump as Prez is Hillary for Prez, or Ted Cruz. (trying not to dwell on any of that) Or Sarah Palin anywhere within a thousand miles of the White House.

Comment by judyt54

You seem to have forgotten to mention Mr Trump’s name. I do hope it is because you don’t think he has any chance of winning the election. The alternative would be unthinkable.

Comment by Lee Hill

read it again, Lee. “the only thing scarier than Trump…” sorta speaks for itself. I think he has a major chance of winning, not that I like it, but it’s a reality. There’s not a lot of joy for any/either of them, at this point.

Comment by judyt54

My apologies Judy. Time to visit the optician.

Comment by Lee Hill

tis okay. ive done it too.

Comment by judyt54

Age gets to all of us Lee. Even you.

Comment by Rob

you can talk campbell, you looked 60 when you were fucking 21.

Comment by andy@cynic

There goes your life of upgrades Rob.

Comment by DH

It’s an election that is a great ad for communism.

Comment by Rob

It is a scary place right now Robert, but Leicester City winning the premiership proves good gets there in the end.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yes … and the joy so much of the country has felt because of it is something that fills me with glee. Especially as Ranieri is such a gracious man.

Comment by Rob

If it stops queen from recording any more music, it’s not all bad.

Comment by Bazza

As usual Rob, you always provide a great perspective on the world as well as life. It is disturbing and relieving at the same time to hear that the life situation here in the States is not different from that in the world at large. My attitude does differ from yours a bit. Maybe it’s because my children are much older, but I feel that we must, as members in this crazy society called the human race, face all the fears in front of us and find solutions that can lead to a better life. I, for one, don’t want to leave it in the hands of the Donald Trumps of the world. Sure, it scares me shitless to think about it, but for better or worse I trust my judgement, intuition, and critical thinking better than there’s. Said another way, I trust the judgement, intuition and critical thinking of all of us collectively better than that of the limited number of people in positions of power. Call me an idealist, but I believe you and your son will have many fearless and wonderful moments ahead. So as much as I respect Desmond Tutu, the world is ours to guide and build.

Comment by Bend

Hello there and thank you so much for popping by and leaving such a great comment. (I’m not used to those on here, ha)

You’re right and I know that because once upon a time – years before Otis was born – I told a friend I wasn’t sure if I wanted a child because I feared the world they may grow up in and she replied that it’s people like me who have to have children to ensure good continues to prosper over bad.

While she was obviously being kind about my character – or was simply referring to the almost Saint-like qualities of my wife – that opinion has stuck with me, which is why I found myself nodding while reading your comment.

Let’s hope we’re right. Ha.

Comment by Rob

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