Monday, June 20, 2016
To Sullivan Charles Macy on the Day of His Birth
by Pa Rock
I am your grandfather (your father’s father) and we met briefly this morning at the hospital not long after you were born. Your daddy handed you to me and I got to hold you in my arms. I heard you crying before I walked into the room, but you were quiet and peaceful as I held you.
There are things you need to know as you start down the long and twisting road of life. The most important thing is that you are now part of a very loving family. Your mother and father and big sister will always be there for you when challenges come your way – and the hills are crawling with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who will also come running if you need us. Each and every one of us loves you very much and always will. Don’t forget that.
One of the most important things you can accomplish in life is to be a good person. The Golden Rule says to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or treat other people like you would want them to treat you. If there was just one law or one rule in the world that people had to follow, I think it should be the Golden Rule. It’s a good one!
Life isn’t about making money or accumulating things. Life is about how you get along with others. My grandfather, Dan Sreaves, was a poor farmer, but he and my grandmother always had their home and their hearts open to anyone in need. He died while I was in college and his funeral took place at the small country church that he had attended throughout much of his life. The little church was packed with people hugging and sobbing, and there were so many mourners that loudspeakers had to be set up outside on the lawn for those who couldn’t get into the church. Granddad probably didn’t have more than a few hundred dollars and the little farm to his name when he died, but I remember thinking as I looked out over that sea of grieving humanity that he was truly the richest man I had ever known.
I hope you become a good man like Dan Sreaves - your great-great-grandfather.
I also hope that you grow up as a man with ideals and convictions – someone who not only knows the difference between right and wrong, but also has the moral backbone to stand up for what you believe in and to support the basic rights of others to live their lives in fair and equitable circumstances.
Don't do things because "everybody's doing it." Never be afraid to step out of the crowd and do what is right. Sometimes what is right may not feel like it is in your personal best interest, but remember, life is not just about you, it is about all of us. Set the example and be the man – the good man, the man who cares.
Never be a bully. Bullies are cowards who prey on those they feel are weak - or different. Every one of us was born of love and hope, and we all have a right to live our lives in our own unique ways without having to cower in fear of people who want to tell us how to live.
Be a kind man. Compassion is not a weakness – it is a strength. Find the strength of kindness within yourself and never be afraid to use it. If you encounter someone who needs a friend, be that friend.
I am sixty-eight-years-old and by the time you are a young adult, I will probably be gone. But I have faith in you and in your wonderful family, and I know, deep in my heart, that you will make us all proud.
Please come see me on the farm as often as you can. I want us to get to know each other and to become buddies.
Welcome to our world, Sullivan. It’s sort of a mess right now, but my hope and prayer for you is that you will roll up your sleeves and help to make it a better place for your grandchildren and their grandchildren.
I am so happy to have met you.
With much love and many good wishes for a long and wonderful life, I am your very proud grandfather,