Perspectives: Letter to my first grandchild

Composite image includes an ultrasound of Perspectives columnist Bryan Hyde's soon-to-be born grandson, James Christensen circa April 2017; Bryan Hyde profile photo circa 2016 | Photos courtesy of Bryan Hyde, St. George News

OPINION – Dear little James,

Ultrasound of Perspectives columnist Bryan Hyde’s soon-to-be born grandson, James Christensen. circa April 2017 | Photo courtesy of Bryan Hyde, St. George News

As I write this letter to you, we’re still anxiously awaiting your arrival. Your due date has come and gone and it appears that you’re going to be fashionably late.

To say that we’re anxious to meet you is a major understatement. It’s like saying that summers in St. George tend to be warm.

Please don’t mistake our enthusiasm for impatience. The suspense grows with every passing hour. You are our first grandchild and the beginning of a brand new branch within our family tree.

I’ve found a lot of joy in my own kids over the past 23 years and I’m looking forward to the joy that will come from their children. I hope you’re the first of many.

It’s going to be a few years before you’ll be able to read this letter but I want to share some of the things that are in my heart today.

As you arrive in this world, you bring with you a unique combination of talents, passions, insights and inclinations that are yours alone. There has never been and there never will be another individual who is exactly like you.

This is not by accident but is part of a larger purpose that is attached to the life of every living soul.

This life that you’re entering always has significant problems to be solved. It’s not enough to simply be angry about them. We need to become problem-solvers.

Each of us has a personal mission to fulfill. Start paying the price early to discover what your mission is and then pursue it with all your heart.

Those who wish to have genuine, lasting impact on the world around them must learn to influence others through persuasion, humility and honesty. There is real power in knowing who you are and what you stand for.

You’ll know you’re on the right path when you find joy in making a difference through serving others rather than simply trying to control them.

Good people can be found in every nation, religion, vocation and economic category.

One of the greatest challenges of life is to learn to see this goodness in others and to revere them for their virtues rather than their perceived status. The world will try to teach you that our respect should be reserved primarily for those whose status exceeds our own. Don’t fall for it.

You are not entering this life so that you can be ordered around. You’re better than that and so is every other soul around you. Too many good people been indoctrinated to believe that they need to be ruled out of a sense of their own inadequacy.

If they only believed that they don’t need to be controlled, they’d quickly recognize that authentic happiness requires making our own choices.

It’s better to do good things because we choose to be virtuous than to do them because someone in authority is ordering us to do so.

Unfortunately, there are entire industries built around the promotion of darkness and fear. Most sources of mass information tend to report only on the most awful things they can find.

This negativity can falsely shape how we see the world. It creates a tendency within us to aggrandize and obsess over our fears. It makes us susceptible to manipulation by others.

Learn to avoid the fear delivery systems early in your life. At the very least, strive to minimize their influence on your thinking.

Rejecting a fear-based mental diet isn’t the same as burying your head in the sand, it’s a conscious choice to give your attention—and your allegiance—to the things that actually bring value into your life.

There has never been an easier time in the history of the world to avail yourself of the most positive and liberating ideas that mankind has conceived. Take advantage of this and seize every opportunity you find to learn.

It’s not about becoming the smartest person in the room. It’s about being able to calmly zero in on the core principles at stake rather than angrily swatting at symptoms.

To do this, you’ll need to put your efforts towards becoming the truest, most authentic version of yourself.

I share these thoughts with you because I want you to experience maximum happiness and freedom.

The world that you are entering can be a very beautiful place. This beauty is not just reserved for the wealthy or the powerful. It is accessible to anyone who has the desire to seek it.

I’m looking forward to seeing the world through new eyes as you experience its wonders for the very first time. I have no doubt that you will see amazing things throughout your lifetime.

Come join us soon, James. I’m excited to get started creating happy memories with you.

Love,

Grandpa

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events viewed through the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • comments April 24, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Well Bry, I hope he comes out better looking than that ultrasound capture. Had to be said.

  • Proud Rebel April 25, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Congratulations, even though it’s early. (I’ll likely be out of the area when you write the column about the actual birth.)
    Remember this, it is the absolute duty of the grandparents, to “spoil ’em rotten, then send ’em back to their parents.” 😀

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