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Dads2Dads: We, the presumptive, are left to ponder

Tom Tozer and Bill Black • Updated Jul 31, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Biblically speaking, if Jesus is coming again, one might wonder what is taking him so long. It seems like civilization is becoming less civil, that humankind has lost its way. Who dropped our moral compass, and how on earth will we be able to re-set our course in the right direction? We’re not blaming it on any one person, not even our kind and humble presidential ‘presumptives.’ The loud and brash oral spewing that we hear from all sides is only a symptom of a greater problem. We seem to have forgotten how to walk in someone else’s shoes, to be kind, to be humble, and to love. In that regard, perhaps when it comes to our humanity, we’re all ‘presumptives.’

Might makes right

Tom has a new grandson. He’s almost 10 months old. What will he inherit from a world that seems to be careening out of control? How is he going to learn right from wrong when we have blurred that distinction beyond recognition? Today’s moral spectrum ranges from horribly wrong to acceptably wrong. What seems right is nothing more than a bargaining chip. You bet it’s right if it serves my purpose or coincides with my beliefs. If you think it’s wrong, you’re just an idiot. Might makes right. If you believe that right makes might, you have no spine. That’s what today’s world will teach Tom’s grandson. 

A mighty message

Yet, there are sparks of hope from some corners of humanity. Tim McGraw’s song, “Humble and Kind,” with lyrics by Lori McKenna, provide a civics lesson, He sings to his daughter: 

“Hold the door, say please, say thank you,

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie,

I know you got mountains to climb

But always stay humble and kind.”

It’s so simple, it’s hard

When Lin-Manuel Miranda recently accepted the Tony Award for his musical creation of “Hamilton” – on the same day as the Orlando tragedy – he stated that the antidote for the ills of today’s world was “love, and love, and love, and love, and love, and love, and love!” His string of “loves” was met by a thunderous ovation.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah recently apologized to the LBGT population for his insensitivity and bias. That’s in stark contrast to Roger Jimenez, the Baptist pastor from Sacramento, Calif., who praised the shooting and regretted that more didn’t die on that fateful Sunday.

Will Tom’s grandson turn out to be tall or short, fat or skinny, gay or straight? It will matter because he will walk through either heaven or hell on his life’s journey. While we presume that we accept one another’s differences, we know also that our basest bigoted instincts smolder just under the surface. The former requires us to lead by example. The latter depends on allowing ourselves to be led. 

Let us be leaders in the right way for our children.

Tom Tozer and Bill Black are authors of “Dads2Dads: Tools for Raising Teenagers.” Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @dads2dadsllc. Contact them at tomandbill@dads2dadsllc.com.

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