I wrote this letter to my future child the week of the 2016 presidential election. It was prior to broadcasting a football game, during one of the most emotional times in my life. This week, I finally felt that it was time to share it. Thanks for listening.
There may be a time in history that you’ll ask me about when you get older. Likely you will. You’ll wonder how this happened, why it happened and ask about the day or days that followed... I don’t have an answer, really. I don’t have much to tell you other than one thing on this planet trumps all.
It trumps hate, it trumps fear, it trumps homophobia/sexism/racism/anti-Semitism... it even trumps Trump.
Your great-grandmother would always tell me as I left her home as a child one thing. She would hug me, place a kiss on my cheek and whisper, “Yogi, life is nothing without love.”
This came from a woman whose parents were murdered in the Holocaust, who was on the run since she was 12 years old and refused to see the negative in a land that gave her and her family an opportunity at life.
Your grandmother, when I was your age, would get on my case when I came home with a B in school. She would say, “Son, this is America. It’s not about the poor grade, but it’s about you failing to recognize that this country offers you so much to take advantage of. This country allows your dreams to come true.” Oh, by the way, your grandmother is a refugee who came to this country at 8 years old. Be proud of that and share her story while recognizing that everyone has one.
The day after the election I called my dad, the ultimate source of wisdom in my life. I was crushed, assuming he would be there to comfort me and agree with my frustrations and fears. Looking back I cannot believe I expected that, as he did the complete opposite. He spoke about how we must react with our hearts. This is coming from a guy who reads more newspapers than you may have ever seen in your young life. On the phone he only spoke about love. Love for country. Love for people. Love for ourselves. And if we love, then we will compete to find that love in everything we do, ranging from public policy to playing catch in the backyard.
I write you this note not to inspire you. I write you this note to make sure that when things do not go your way, as they will, you’ll deal with your emotions instead of burying them. That you’ll voice your opinion but compete to understand others voices too. Our family, your family, wasn’t raised with a great deal of sympathy, as there was always a positive light to find. But we were raised with incredible empathy. Carry that with you, wherever you may explore.
Like your great-grandmother said, “Life is nothing without love.” So love with your heart. Love with your head. Love with your history. Love with your voice. Love with your community, as it’s much bigger than it may seem in times like today.
And darling, please put down your phone and go for a walk. Meet someone who you think disagrees with you, say hello, ask them about their life and remember that the only limits that we have are the ones we set ourselves.
Today I get to call a game at the famous Rose Bowl and will get to see how the power of a ball, a simple football, can unify... based on the love that all 80,000+ fans, coaches and student-athletes have for a simple game... You see, love wins.
Love, however, wherever, always wins.
I love you with all of my heart,
Your future dad