Before You Go

Dear Dad,

I wanted to share this song, “Before You Go”, with you today. It says what I have never been able to communicate fully…THANK YOU for my life and all that I cherish, value and hold dear. As you and many of your generation know all too well, many of my generation and those younger than us don’t necessarily understand or agree with your views. But I wanted you to know we all acknowledge and appreciate the gifts you have given us.

The world today is not the same as it was in 1917 or 1939, but the principles of liberty and our Constitution are the same. While none of us know what the world will look like in 5 or 10 years or even if we will still be alive, the one thing I am sure of is that it will be a world striving to become whole—a world that recognizes all 6 billion of us are connected—one atmosphere, one planet, one God and, maybe, just one more chance to get it right.

I don’t know what it will take to mend the conservative/liberal divide and restore us to one nation under God (or not under God, depending upon the freedom granted by our Constitution to believe what we choose). If we can recover the kind of civility and mutual respect that guided us since our founding fathers suspended their differences in 1776, then maybe we can sit down with other world leaders and create a vision of a world without violence, a world not established upon the belief that sovereignty is more important than peace and ‘might makes right’.

As you know, I believe you fought the last just war—a war where ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ were clear, where the enemy had a national identity, and where the stakes were obvious.

Dad, I wish everyone had your courage, commitment and integrity. Together, we might create a vision for America that transcends generations and political ideology.

© 2008 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.