What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind 150 150 Jason Stadtlander

I recently saw the movie “The Road” starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, a movie based on the Pulitzer prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road.” For those who haven’t seen the movie, it’s an extremely powerful film about hardship, the  love of a child and survival instincts.

That movie  – and my book coming out in August, The Steel Van Man – have made me wonder about the connection to our children and families and to what lengths I might be willing to go with regard to something as serious as a threat on their lives.

Although I can attest to my own experiences and feelings toward family, children and the power to protect them, I cannot claim to speak for others in their feelings on the matter.

A Family to Live or Die for . . .

The ChildrenFor those of you who do not know, I have two young children of my own, and I can say without thinking about it twice that I would kill to protect them. When I am gone from this world, all that will remain of me will be my children and the words I leave behind. Although my writing is very important to me, my children are paramount in all that I do, see, breathe and speak.

In the movie, a father is trying to guide his son to safety, but in doing so,  shows him what is right and what is wrong. At one point, attempting to protect the boy, the man steals the clothes from another man who has just robbed them. The boy later encourages his father to return the clothes to the man and leave behind food for him, showing the father what it means to  retain a level of humanity during a time of distress and societal collapse.

What is the Cost?

At what cost do we allow humanity and society to influence our families? I’m speaking to you individually here, as a reader. If you have children and are at home reading this, look at your children right now. If you are at work reading this, look at a picture of your children – I’m sure you have one around. What are their lives worth? What is their safety worth? Any parent worth his salt will know what I mean when I say that you can look at your child playing on the floor or smiling up at you from that photo and know in your heart – with all that you are – that you will do absolutely anything to protect that innocent life. You will carry the world on your shoulders, plow through any obstacle and face any challenge to help that little person – that little human who is part of you and someone else – to become someone special, to be more than you are right now.

So I ask you again, how far will we allow humanity to control our children, to control and skew our views on life for the betterment of society?

Your race doesn’t matter; neither does your class, your spiritual denomination or your job. None of these matter when you have children. Hell, none of them really matter even when you don’t have children. In the end, when you’re gone, you are gone for good. So don’t believe simply in our species, our race or your neighbor. Take control of the world around by starting with yourself –  and your family.

Family TimeComplicated Times – Simple Rules

We live in an age of over-stimulation, an age of instant information and media overload.

We have five rules in our home:

  • Treat others with respect
  • Expect respect, but fight for it if you don’t get it
  • Eat dinner with no television, computers or phones while sitting AT the table – every night
  • Never hit someone, but know how to defend yourself
  • Never ever lie to your parents

Believe in yourself and what you feel is right deep down in your heart and what you know will guide your child in the right direction.

Because . . . they are what we you leave behind.


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