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The Power of the Gentle: Letter to my Son, Plea to Us All

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Max,

Last night you saw a man on TV say that the attacks that happened in Paris could very well happen in the U.S. While you were getting into the shower, you said that made you scared. I told you to live each day the best that you can and not to live in worry for what may be. Dad said you were much more quiet than normal this morning, and I'm wondering if you still see that man's face and hear his voice.

There was much more that I wanted to say to you last night but I couldn't find the words. It's like you always say, "Everyone is perfect, but no one is perfect." The same is true with our world. Yes, there are people in it filled with more anger than love who seem to want nothing more than to spread that hate. But there are so many more who want to connect with other people through every day kindness. Like you. That's who you've always been. You're the one who played trains with Damien in kindergarten and made it okay for the others to join in. Just now, you asked me when we're going back to volunteer at the animal shelter. This weekend.

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We live for the beauty that surrounds us at every moment -- the comfort in Barley or Melon purring on your lap, the view of the changing leaves outside your window, the mornings I wake to hear you and Andre laughing. We live for each other. And maybe now we can all hug each other as tight and as often as you do. That's your gift, Max.

As your parents, Dad and I do all we can to keep that alive. The way you are with other people, the calmness and compassion that comes so naturally to you. Last night while watching the James Bond movie, you asked what happened to the red-haired woman Bond had just been kissing as he and another woman flew off to escape being killed. Was she in the building that had just blown up? She was never shown again. You notice how people are treated. You feel it.

I remember when I first heard that people died. I was seven -- two years younger than you are now. It was all I could think about for days after. I wondered how anyone who already knew this could possibly smile.

I still think about that time. It was the end of something for me. Life was no longer a fairy tale with me the star princess but a place where people worked at jobs they hated, you weren't invited to every party, and I saw anger - in me and those around me. The light inside grew dimmer.

I'm writing this letter to urge you to keep your magic alive, don't let it dim, and please spread it around. We all have anger. But everyone you see has that light inside them too. Keep yours as blinding as I know it is and use it to ignite others. The world around you needs your gentle soul. Please don't ever let fear make you hide your magic.

We love you more than words, Max.

"The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story tellers, and lovers of all kinds." -- The Dalai Lama

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