"So how's that hopey changey stuff treating you?"
Well, Sarah, when it comes to ending domestic violence, it's a bittersweet juxtaposition.
On the one hand there's a lot of men out there making a difference, like the football players in the book NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters: Inspiring Personal Accounts on Fatherhood from the Men of the NFL.
There are many lovely passages in this book from men about their families and their daughters, men who play a very violent sport -- on the football field that is.
I love football and I love the gangsta mystique of being an Oakland Raiders fan, but it's only in the context of the game strategy and the will to win battlefield mentality, not in everyday real life.
These football hero fathers will hopefully inspire their younger teammates and young men to treat women with respect, and not hurt and humiliate them emotionally or physically.
I'm no football hero, not since the high school glory days, but I'm a father of one daughter in this world and another still in the womb. (In fact, the Lady Bug Bryce baby shower is today. Right on.)
I bought the book for my dad as well. He's a big football fan too, even more than me. He turned 78 this week and has three daughters of his own from a previous marriage, not counting my sister. So that's four. (Yes, football players and drummers can count.)
We need more good guys fighting the good fight, because then we have tragic events like the recent violence at the Albuquerque business where a gunman stormed through a courtyard and into a building, killing two people and wounding four others before killing himself. It's pretty clear now that the gunman was going after his ex-girlfriend.
There's still too many more of these stories, at home and at work, in the U.S. and around the world. My good friend Kim Wells, who's the Executive Director of Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV), shared a story recently about how in Brazil -- on the average -- 10 women are killed daily in domestic violence.
Ten women a day. Good God.
But I believe in the hopey changey stuff, it's what makes me a better father. I believe that most folks are inherently decent and want to build a better world, men and women alike.
These facts don't represent the faces and the names of the precious people whose lives are lost...or their families. But I hope the facts are helpful in understanding this isn't just "someone else's issue." And that it can...and should...be prevented.
It can and should be.
Dads, embrace your daughters and help evangelize that the degradation and violence must stop.