Thankfully, this post was written to less than 0.05% of you, and yet it still needs to be said. To the overwhelming majority of you, thank you for your incredibleness. Thank you for taking yesterday’s post (click here to read it if you haven’t) in the spirit and perspective in which it was intended. More than 100,000 people visited the post in its first day, a new record here at SDL.
Everybody else. Put away your halos. And please, put away your pitch forks while you’re at it.
First of all, I do not apologize for or take back anything that I wrote in yesterday’s post. That post is perhaps the most powerful and honest work I have ever written. I actually wrote that piece before the “Perfection” piece, and two days ago when I reread it, its power unexpectedly overtook me. I wept for the better part of fifteen minutes (for some reason I’ve been really weepy the last few months!) as I thought of all my own and very many imperfections.
You see, I’d all but forgotten about that post, and I certainly had forgotten all that I had written in my frustration and anger that day. So when I reread it, I felt like I was reading words that somebody else had written.
The words I read were simply written from a desperate dad’s heart, and were nothing more than a personal and genuine plea for all dads to stand up and be who they should be.
But that’s not what I want to discuss today.
To those of you who commented and viciously attacked the man I wrote about… Did you not read The disease called “Perfection”?
What I wrote about this man was actually very kind, given the true circumstances. What I actually saw that day, was blatant child abuse. What I actually witnessed was a father who used horrible profanity against his child, purposefully inflicted substantial physical pain to his child, and purposefully broke his child of all happiness. What I actually saw that day, was a child who’s father hated him.
And that broke my heart.
And that made me hate myself for not doing anything. For not saying anything.
And that is why I wrote the piece.
But that doesn’t matter.
I left out the true horribleness of the situation because I very specifically didn’t want this to turn into a witch hunt.
To those very few of you who turned it into just that… Did you not read The disease called “Perfection”?
This man is still our brother. This man is a human being. This man did something absolutely abhorrent that day, but did you ever once hear me actually attack this man in my post yesterday? Did you ever hear me call him the spawn of Satan or declare that he should be castigated or destroyed?
All you read was a list of events that occurred.
The worst you got from me was a statement that I was agitated and confused, followed by a list of questions wondering how he couldn’t see in his child what I could see in mine.
And the thing that frustrates me the most, is that this post wasn’t about the father at all.
This post was about the boy.
This post was about all of our kids.
This post was about love.
And frankly, that’s all I’m going to say about it. For those of you who said horrible things about this man, go read the “Perfection” post and see if you feel the same way when you’re done. For those of you who simultaneously raised your halo and your pitchfork against this man, go read the “Perfection” post.
Because I am that man. And you are that man. And every person here is that man. Our sin may not be child abuse, but we are all full of secrets, and insecurities, and imperfections. That’s the point of the “Perfection” piece.
All you read yesterday was a list of events that occurred. The judgments came from a handful of the readers below. And somehow, at the end of the day, the opinions and judgments of some readers was placed on me.
Yesterday’s post was not to lift myself up on some pedestal. It was about change. It was about love. It was about the tender hearts I constantly see being broken inside of our children.
I am so full of fault. And my heart now breaks for that man as much as it broke for his child because this all goes to show the very problem that “Perfection” is in this world.
[sigh] I had something funny planned for today. Check back later, I may still post it. I just felt a need to discuss the serious mud slinging that was going on yesterday.
Oh, and to the nine or ten people who sent me the most horrible hate mail you could imagine, I think you should go read the “Perfection” post as well. Because, while your words don’t define me, they can hurt my feelings.
That being said, thank you to the more than 1,300 people in the last 24 hours who sent the most amazing and encouraging messages and comments you could imagine. Yesterday’s piece was beautiful. Yesterday’s piece was a message that needs to be shared. Yesterday’s piece will give some kids their dads and moms back. I know, because I’ve received at least 40 emails now telling me just that. At least 40 mothers or fathers have written-in and told me that yesterday’s post has stirred them to serious change. And that was in the first 24 hours.
So again, I do not apologize for it. Not one… little… bit.
In fact, I’m going to be bold and simply say, “you’re welcome”.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS, if yesterday’s post affected you in a positive way, please share a comment below telling us all how.