One woman’s wish for her future daughter

Yesterday’s lesson was a reminder that amazing, memorable life lessons can come from anywhere, even from people much younger than myself. The moral of this story is that death sometimes brings hope (and other wonderful things) if you focus on the positive.  

Sadly, my wife’s grandfather passed away a few days ago. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a funeral to bring people together, and that’s what happened to me. My cousin Shanni came into town with her father and, because of an intense craving she had for Beaver Tails, we ended up taking a little drive. Shanni is a very intelligent person, especially for her young age, and at the end of our ride, Shanni wanted to talk about “slam poetry”. My initial reaction was to shut it down; for to me, slam poetry is (today I say “was”) associated with naive, lazy people who just complain. She insisted that I hear her out. She wanted to recite this poem to me – then and there. I gave in, and boy am I thankful that I did – more thankful that she insisted. She recited this 3-minute poem word for word, by heart, like she had been practicing for months. (Knowing Shanni like I do, I’d say that that might be exactly what she did.)

I cannot do this incredible poem justice, so I present to you Japanese-Jewish American Sarah Kay’s “If I should have a daughter” as presented at her TED Talk. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, even if you don’t have a daughter (like I do – whom I thought of through the entire recitation).

Most of all, thank you Shanni.


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