My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
Shosh, when you were young, you were a voracious reader. Your mom did one thing right: she read to you constantly. As a result, you had a huge vocabulary and were a smart little tyke!
Unfortunately, Jaialai, when you were about one, I lost my job as a result of blowing the whistle against the Enron of Healthcare and your mother had to go back to return to work because no one wanted to hire a whistleblower. I stayed home to watch you, but was also occupied with the lawsuit against crooks who were ripping off the sick and dying; thus, I failed to read to you as often as your mom did for Shosh. But, you still ended up being brilliant!!!!
That said, we tried to read to you both when we had the opportunity. I hope you continue to read voraciously in my absence.
Books are wonderful things. In addition to exposing us to far flung places in distant lands, they also introduce to us ideas that help shape our understanding of the world in which we live. The wisdom of those who came before us is passed down in stories captured and preserved in those great instruments of knowledge: books. Appreciate them. Be kind and gentle to them. Be grateful for the knowledge they bring and the authors who made such transfer of knowledge possible.
The lessons of yesteryears remain amazingly relevant today. For example, today, I finished Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, and found a quote towards the end of the book that captured well current events of the day. Speaking to the protagonist (a journalist who had managed to spend years in Indochina to cover the conflict there without investing himself in any side), one of the characters said, “[O]ne has to take sides. If one is to remain human.” Page 166.
Life requires us to choose. Will you side with might or right? Will you choose to help the oppressed or the oppressors? To do nothing in the face of evil is to give tactic approval to that evil. Don’t. Choose wisely. Read voraciously and gain the wisdom of those smarter than you or I.
All my love, always,