“A Letter to My Sons” by Paul McAdams, Canada

Travel July 19, 2011 21:48

topic: TRAVEL medium: TEXT

photo submitted by Alessandro Palmacci

Flying somewhere over Greenland

My Dearest Sons,

I left this morning with a heavy heart. Usually your mother drives me to the airport with you in tow, you jump out once we’ve parked and hug me with an intensity lasting my whole trip. This morning it was harder to say goodbye as you both lay in bed, one half asleep and the other patiently waiting to hug me. Your whispers of I love you betrayed a sadness I felt as much as you.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said goodbye. You have only known a father who travels to far off places to do stuff I have struggled to explain to you. Maybe now’s the time to try.

We live in a world where your mother and I want to protect you from what’s really out there. The world as I know it is a lot nastier than seen through your eyes, and believe me when I say I want it to stay like that. I want you to grow up in a world where no one is hurt because they’re a different colour, or a different religion, or a different anything, because “different” isn’t wrong. When I travel to different places, it’s to work with people who make the world a better place. They teach people about things called “rights.”

Everyone has rights, or at least everyone is supposed to. For example, the people I work with teach others that everyone has the right to go to school. There are plenty of other rights as well, like the right to say what you want. When I work with these people, we talk about ways to help everyone learn about their rights. That means we talk about our values. I believe we all have some common values, even though it may not look that way. I think deep down we all want to be good to each other, we all want to live in peace, and we all cherish life.

Sadly, there aren’t enough people in this world willing to change it for the better. The people I will meet make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us. They’re helping others who have lived through war or been jailed because of things they’ve said. They’re helping children go to school and women to defend themselves against hurtful men.

The work they are doing really means a lot. It’s important to help them as much as possible. That’s what I try to do.

I’m not saying all this as an excuse for my absence over the years. I’ve been away far too often from you, living in fancy hotels to the kind where I wage war against cockroaches. I’m saying this in the hopes you’ll understand what I do a little more, be thankful for the wonderful lives you have, and somehow do your part to make this world a better place for everyone.

Je vous aime, mes garçons. Bonne nuit.


Comments are closed