A Little Moral Courage (or when your child’s teacher emails you)

A Little Moral Courage (or when your child’s teacher emails you)

Cindy and I receive an email from Chase’s teacher, “I would like to speak to about Chase.”

Our rabbit minds zigzag all the ways he may have broken the rules.

Maybe he cheated on a test. Maybe he threw an apple during lunch. Maybe, God forbid, defiance.

I call the teacher and we talk.

The teacher explains that a serious incident happened at school today and Chase was very brave. He did the right thing. And despite being scared, Chase spoke up and reported the incident to the teacher.

When the teacher talked to Chase, the teacher used the word “sincere”.

The teacher said Chase’s eyes widened.

The teacher asked Chase if he knew what sincere meant.


The teacher explained it meant honesty.

If Cindy and I have done anything right as parents it’s that our children know what honesty means.

It’s thrill to watch your child do great things. Score a goal, ace a big test, sing a solo in the play but those accomplishments pale in comparison to when told your child displayed moral courage when a situation called for it. When your child spoke up knowing the dangers of speaking up. When your child admitted the truth.

I want my children to know that not speaking up, moving silently through life is a long, painful punishment. Worse than no Xbox for a week or cleaning the bathroom for a month.

I know there will be many times my children’s lives where they will not be so brave. When presented with opportunities, they will fail to act in good, upstanding ways. I know because their human. My children are not perfect. They are just as complex and contradictory as you and me.  And I know because I’m still hunted by those times I failed to say something or do something– the shame that comes from moral paralysis.

I often write to you, hoping that something I say will help you improve your life. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.

But if I’m being honest— I am and have always been writing for my children.

In fact, Write on Fight on became a thing only after doctors found a hole in my brain and encouraged me to get my affairs in order.  This blog is my affair.

So should I die fetching the mail today, my children will know dad was a man who, though terribly flawed, had his moments. When life got hard he tried to find meaning and purpose. He didn’t mouse away from truth. He found strength in helping people. He laughed to avoid self-destruction. He pursued his passion, writing, when it was much easier not to.

And through his writing, he urged them–despite fear, despite resistance, despite unwanted attention–to act with moral courage.

Keep up the good work son. I’m proud of you.

Be well,


Life favors the brave. Subscribe and receive my weekly stories, encouragement, and positive messages to motivate you to improve your life, take positive risks, and live a purposeful life.