Letters to my sons

A collection of thoughts and lessons I've learned along the way for my little men,
and anyone else that's interested.

My son,

One of the things that I hope you learn about me is how much I love the epic. The epic story, movie, music, view, experience, ride - I love it all. C. S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity says that "Music is the closest thing to heaven we will ever experience on earth." What a beautiful statement of a deeply emotional, primal, overwhelming experience of music, and what a magnificent description of the epic; it is the closest thing to heaven we will ever experience on earth.

And that's what we all want, isn't it? To experience heaven in all its glory, to experience perfection, to experience existence - friendship, relationship, joy - the way it ought to be.

Ayn Rand considers this the definition of Romanticism with a capital 'R'. In the preface to her book, The Fountainhead, she writes:

Longevity - predominantly, though not exclusively - is the prerogative of a literary school which is virtually non-existent today: Romanticism. This is not the place for a dissertation on the nature of Romantic fiction, so let me state - for the record and for the benefit of those students who have never been allowed to discover it - only that Romanticism is the conceptual school of art.

It deals, not with the random trivia of the day, but with the timeless, fundamental, universal problems and values of human existence. It does not record or photograph; it creates and projects. It is concerned - in the words of Aristotle - not with things as they are, but with things as they might and ought to be. And for the benefit of those who consider relevance to one's own time as of crucial importance, I will add, in regard to our age, that never has there been a time when men have so desperately needed a projection of things as they ought to be.

I've spent much of my youth thinking about things as they ought to be, and trying my best to turn those thoughts to reality. Now that you’ve just turned 4 months old, I realize that my thoughts have shifted slightly; the grandiose statement I would spend hours thinking about - how the world ought to be - now has a minor shift in it.

I now think of how I believe the world ought to be for you.

If there's anything I've learned over my short existence, it's that life is what you make of it. The pursuit of something greater, of something epic, of making the world a little more like how you believe it ought to be; these noble pursuits take a series of events and elevate them into something much more than the sum of their parts. They take our lives and give them meaning, direction, and purpose. They allow us to exercise passion, ingenuity, excellence; beautiful qualities of the human spirit.

And that is certainly the way the world ought to be.

And so my hope for you is that you too would live life looking for the epic, basking in the moments when you find it. Take time to think about the world as it ought to be, surround yourself with people that share that vision, and remember that passion is contagious; if you dream big and continue dreaming big, those around you will start doing the same.



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