The email my son won’t get

Brad Willis · Published · Updated


Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Merry says:

    What great words and meaning. You should be a writer! 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    I love your posts about your family. I also love knowing there’s at least one other committed family man in an industry that tends otherwise.

  3. I appreciate this. I do wonder if there isn’t one really core “how” that is right in front of you. Yes there are these terrible things, these problems, these selfish things, this greed & hate. But also, there is what you speak of & feel more directly, rather than see out there and judge. There is a love for something innocent, and also a bewilderment with these forces of war and destruction.

    From a relatively comfortable place you can engage these things and feel a sadness and bewilderment. But in this same feeling you may be already quite directly in touch with the “how” that evades you. It may be that there are many people much like you, only in a bit more of a pressure cooker, and having a sense right or wrong) of the dilemma of “it’s their children, or mine”. When we face this question we fight hard to find some way around it. We have compassion. We don’t want to be evil. We don’t want to believe it’s come to that.

    But they ask themselves the same questions about what they see — how could anyone do this? What could possibly matter enough to do this to children?

    But once they start to believe that it is going to happen to them or their children, or once they see it happening to others around them, or once it happens to them, then yes, one of the purest kinds of love we know, can drive people to look straight at you, and summon the purest kinds of hate.

    I daresay that if this is any kind of fuel in war at all, it is one of the most powerful and coveted fuels there are. I daresay that other quite incidental blips of selfishness and greed can also hijack and grow quite wildly riding on the back of this basic vulnerability.

    Because we all understand, with sadness, that it’s natural to choose me over you, and mine over yours, all things being equal. At our core we can’t judge it if we are choosing between honoring what we know we love, and what we don’t know at all. It’s like a coinflip where we are welcome to choose which side the coin lands on.

    So we understand how deep this dilemma goes. All we can do is fight to make sure that this is NOT the dilemma we are in, and fight to assure others that that is not the dilemma YOU are in, and fight to show others that THEY are in no such dilemma, because you care about them and theirs. All it takes, is for them, under some kind of stress or some kind of viral persuasion, to miss that, or to fail that challenge themselves, and then all manner of war is on the table, and men will commit foolish atrocities in good conscience. They will do these things in great sadness and under great stress, even destroying their own soul, believing it’s necessary in service of what they love. Yes sometimes what they love may be masked and encased in bigotry, in religious or nationalist slogans, but there is always some kind of rooting, and the strongest most persistent rooting, I expect to be, at some level, still a love for something innocent and vulnerable.

    So I think we have a chance to show compassion and identify the “hows” that we most deeply understand, and let go of the ones that seem utterly senseless, that ask only to be destroyed, that put some kind of “lie” to all that we expect of humanity.

  4. Scuba says:

    Thank You! And I say that on two levels! From the personal – about the conversation you had with your oldest, because we are being asked the same questions by a little boy! And also from an Australian point of view as the plane had about several Aussie residents on board and it has really shattered our comparatively small population to the core.

  5. Da Goddess says:

    You will always have great kids who look to you for answers. Answers about the horrible stuff and answers about the good stuff and answers about the confusing, personal stuff. You’ve set the tone and you’ve built the foundation of trust that they know they can always count on you for anything, even if you don’t know or have every answer. In turn, they’ll raise their own children that way and there’ll be yet another generation of strong young people.

    Kudos for knowing when to send information, when to hold on to it for a while, and for knowing this is what our children deserve from us.

    Lucky kids to have you as their father!

  6. Douglas says:

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He
    was entirely right. This post truly made my day.

    You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *