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Embracing Tomorrow: Thoughts on Meeting My Granddaughter


As I held my granddaughter, born just over two weeks ago, I was enveloped in a profound sense of awe and responsibility. She is the first grandchild in our family, a new life that brings with it a fresh perspective on our world and its future.

In the delicate features of her face, I saw not just an extension of my family, but a living promise of tomorrow. This encounter has led me to reflect deeply on the world we are shaping for her and our role in building a better future.

In a time marked by division and discord, the birth of a child is a reminder of the purity and potential that life holds. It makes one ponder the society we have cultivated and the legacy we are to leave.

The joy of meeting my granddaughter has reinforced my belief that to nurture her into a world worth living in, we must learn anew how to communicate with one another to respect our differences, and to foster civility.

Our society is a tapestry woven with diverse threads - each strand representing different educational backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, and preferences. Like the individual notes in a symphony, these differences should not clash discordantly but rather come together in harmony, creating a richer, more beautiful whole.

As my granddaughter grows, I dream of her experiencing a world not constrained by the narrow confines of intolerance but enriched by the diversity of thought and culture.

We stand at a crossroads, where our chosen path will determine the world our grandchildren inherit. Thisworld that is rapidly changing, where technology advances at an unprecedented pace, and societal norms continually evolve.

Amidst these changes, our responsibility is to guide the next generation in understanding and embracing these differences. We must demonstrate through our actions and words that diversity is not a threat but an invaluable strength.

In our interactions, both within our families and wider world, we must exemplify the virtues of understanding, empathy, and respect. When we encounter opinions that diverge from our own, it is an opportunity not for conflict but for learning and growth.

Each perspective offers a unique insight into the complex mosaic of human experience. By engaging in open, respectful dialogue, we broaden our own understanding and lay the groundwork for a more inclusive and empathetic society.

In considering my granddaughter’s future, I am reminded of the notion of our "better angels," as famously evoked by Abraham Lincoln. This concept speaks to the better nature inherent within us all - the capacity for kindness, generosity, and understanding.

To build a better future, we must lean on these better angels, encouraging their presence in our daily lives and the broader societal discourse. Nurturing these qualities allow us to aspire to a more perfect union.

Education plays a pivotal role in this journey. Through education we learn not just academics but also the social and emotional skills necessary for understanding and appreciating diversity.

As my granddaughter grows, I hope she is afforded educational opportunities that challenge her intellect and expand her worldview. Schools should be the place where young minds are encouraged to explore, question, and embrace the vast tapestry of human experience.

Moreover, the concept of a “more perfect union” is not static; it evolves as we do. It requires ongoing effort and commitment. Our task is to continually strive to improve, to recognize our flaws, and work collectively to address them.

This journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society is ongoing, and it’s one we must embark on together.

The joy of meeting my first granddaughter has been an impetus for introspection and hope. It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to nurture a world that is respectful, inclusive, and understanding.

A world where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated. As she grows, I hope to impart these values, guiding her toward becoming a compassionate, thoughtful, and open-minded individual.

In her, I see the future, and it’s our duty to ensure that it is a future grounded in the principles of respect, compassion, and love. For in our “better angels,” we find the key to a future that’s not only possible but bright with promise for all.

This journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society is ongoing, and it’s one we must embark on together.

©Photo by FG Trade from Getty Images Signature

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About the blogger

K. Todd Houston, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Todd is currently a Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Akron.

In a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, Dr. Houston has been a photojournalist, an Executive Director/CEO of an international non-profit organization, a clinician, published author, researcher, and an academic. This professional journey has shaped a world-view that embraces diversity and supports engagement across cultures.

Dr. Houston has a passion for ensuring that others have an opportunity to fully express themselves.
Combining his journalism background with more than two decades of focused work with children and adults impacted by hearing loss, Dr. Houston has co-created a company that is committed to producing a range of content that informs and inspires.

Through the 3C Digital Media Network, Dr. Houston will bring together a diverse array of voices who can tell their stories and inspire others to be their very best selves.

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