“Family is not an important thing. It is everything.”
— Michael J Fox
I think it is not possible to overstate the impact of one’s family in one’s life. From birth, the way we learn to think, act, and feel – the challenges we face and opportunities we’re given – the deepest pain and most fundamental joy – all seem to trace roots back to the family we inherited, and whose branches extend to the families we create. In consideration of my family situation, I can only say how grateful I am to love and be loved. I owe a deep debt of gratitude for my mother and father, who have been the foundation for all good things in my life.
My choice to marry – and to marry Kayla Thompson – has had a more profound affect on how I now live than perhaps any other decision I’ve made aide from choosing to Believe. I agree with Solomon: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10). Kayla is a beautiful person whose companionship has greatly enriched my life. Her gift to me is more than I deserve.
As for the children – these four precious souls who have come into my life through magic and grace – how can I adequately express the breadth of my love for them? I cannot. I fell deeply in love with each at the moment of their birth, and cherish our relationship as father and child. In spite of my human weakness, I am grateful for their acceptance of my effort to be a good dad, and for their forgiveness when I fall short.
It has been my challenge to attempt to live with this priority of needs and wants: God comes first, family second, and self third. In doing so I can at least hope that my best efforts are given to my family – my wife and children – then extended to my human family. In considering my life, I don’t know how I could have been exposed to the important lessons of service and sacrifice without becoming a husband and father, and being committed to filling those roles to the best of my ability. I feel I have become a better person by making an conscious effort to put their needs and wants above my own. And I feel a portion of that same love and responsibility extend to all people everywhere.
“Everyone is responsible to everyone for everything.”
“Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It’s very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.”
— The Dalai Lama
“My country is the world; my countrymen are mankind.”
— William Lloyd Garrison
“When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?”
— Frank Borman