Friday, July 13, 2007

Something for My Daughters

One of the things that I inherited from my family from the moment of my birth was a great love of and appreciation for both my family's own history and the importance of overall world history. Now that I have two daughters of my own, I want to be able to pass something on to them when they're grown that's representative of my personal interests, the period in history into which they were born, and the men and women who were important in the development of that history.

As a part of that, and reflective of my recent reading of Wiesel, I recently wrote him a letter and, among other things, asked for something from him that I could give to MB and E as a remembrance of that part of history which he has passed through and which he has worked tirelessly to keep people from forgetting. As I said in my letter, "As the father of two small daughters ... I am very much looking forward to the day where I can share these books with them and explain that, even in the midst of the tragedy and fear that often grip the modern world, there are men and women of great dignity and honor who continually work to bring about peaceful and positive change."

Today, I received back some bookplates personalized for each of them (pictured here, minus their names). I was very grateful for this small gesture on his part, and it will undoubtedly make the copies of his books that I give them when they're grown that much more special. I can say that Wiesel's responsiveness to my letter overwhelms me; here's someone who mingles and associates with political and religious leaders from around the world, and he answers a letter from some unknown guy in Northern Virginia. Two of the people for whom I have a great deal of admiration: Elie Wiesel and Desmond Tutu, and both took the time to write me back. I think the fact that they not only listen to what the average person says, but take the time to respond and seem to genuinely value and appreciate those words, says just as much about the quality of their character as anything else they've done in their lives.

7 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

This so cool Matt! I agree with your assessments - nice to know these famous guys cared enough to respond.

Helen said...

That's really nice, sounds like a nice guy, it's important to pass these parts of history to our children, hoping such atrocities will not happen again.

Kristen said...

That's so great! I think it's wonderful how you write to these authors in the first place, but then to have such a nice response from them and to be able to share that with your daughters - that's really special. Also shows what a great dad you are!

Lone Grasshopper said...

Wow, that is too cool for words.

Dan said...

Dang! That's good stuff. Good job, Dad.

trace said...

I heard Eli Wiesel speak at Fairfield U several years back. He is an amazing person (as you experienced!). cool story!

Paula Reed said...

As Wiesel himself said, "The opposite of love isn't hate, it is indifference." I am not at all surprised that he responded.