An ancient Zen Proverb simply states “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” My teacher appeared a little over three and a half years ago with the birth of my first grandson. Not only is he my best friend in the world; he has taught me more about life, courage, and unconditional love than I ever thought I could learn. This week he passed an important milestone in his young life that I won’t discuss in this forum other than to say how proud I am of him and how inspired I am by his courage and resiliency. If we just pay attention, children will show us how to deal with adversity, how to leave it in the past, and how to move on with life, stronger than ever.
Our country allows over a million of its children to be killed in the womb every year. That’s a million teachers, life coaches, and best friends the world will never get to know. As I write this I can see a crystal clear starlit sky outside my window; a reminder of just how small what we call our world is when measured against the infinite expanse of the Universe. Each of us and every one of the children killed today in the world’s abortion mills were individually unique creations, even when measured against an endless Universe. As adults, we think we have all the answers, but until we learn again to view life from the perspective of an awe-struck child we will continue to kill our own and suffer the consequences of our actions.
My grandson taught me that every child is a miracle beyond the comprehension of all the brainpower and super-computers mankind could ever muster. He taught me that protecting innocent children is the most important duty any adult could ever undertake. My teacher is showing me the way to live a principled life when we run and play, and when he falls asleep in my arms, knowing he is safe with Pop Pop. He teaches me tolerance when I see his little brother strike him and he chooses not to retaliate. Nearly every time we are alone my teacher asks me if I have to work tomorrow. That means he wants to spend the night at Pop Pop’s house, and reminds me of the special bond we have, and the love and friendship we share.
Our children and grandchildren can teach us how to live. All we have to do is be willing students. Our teachers can change our lives for the better and help us change the world if we accept their teachings as the unvarnished, unbiased truth that can only be expressed by pure innocence.
The commitment I have made to spend the rest of my life working to end abortion and to protect children at every stage of their life is not a task I volunteered for. It’s a job I feel I have to do, regardless of whether I’m qualified or capable of achieving my goal. With the lessons learned and yet to be learned from my teacher I will find a way to get the job done.