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  • Writer's pictureShabazz L. Graham


Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Happy 3rd Birthday Son. 🥳

You aren't able to read or understand this post yet, but one day (God willing) when you find this message in my social media archive (my digital autobiography), years from now, you will read this and be reminded that I love you more than I can ever explain in a social media post (even though I'm using one to try to explain how much more. 😂 The irony).

Son, I love you unconditionally!❤️

It's 2021 now and you've just turned three. We've just had a great day out in London celebrating your birthday at attractions you loved and fought back the sleep like a warrior, to enjoy. Even though the sleep won😴, you put up a great fight 💤🤺

As I write this birthday message to the future you, I’m both blessed and burdened. You and so many others bless me, but the society your mother and I are raising you in, burden me. We’re slowly coming out of the 2020 pandemic🦠 (at a snail pace) and outside of that troublesome societal issue, with all its fallout of creating more contention and division💉 in an already divided world, my social media news feeds are filling up with reports and vlogs of recent serious youth crime, tragedy, bigotry, more street violence and too many other issues to list in this post. Society right now is sadly not the best version of itself. It could be 'great' ("Make Society Great Again" 👀), but it hasn't yet managed to rise to that call and achieve this aspirational feat. It’s far too distracted by its own circular logic to avert the pitfalls that are undoing its 'progress', keeping it trapped in a vicious cycle of the status quo, which I call the ‘Social Stymie’. Hopefully, I‘ll live long enough to finish my superhero book, where you will hear me speak more about this paradoxical place there. Sadly I don't believe that the world would have changed much between now (June 2021) and whenever you read this in the future. I can only pray I'm wrong.

No birthday gift I could ever give you can ever compete with my promise, and my deeds (the application of my promise), to do the best I can to help you grow into the best version of yourself. I promise I will try as hard as I can to help you be all that you can be. You and your precious mother are my first vocation.

Like a rose that grows through the cracks in the concrete of this hardened society, it's my hope and prayer that you will rise, despite any obstacles that stand in your way. Like all children, you have such beauty and hope within you; hope and beauty which I want to see preserved, treasured and realised. Hope realised is what makes life fulfilling, allowing you to truly live your life to the full. ("Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12)

"Like a rose growing through concrete"
A good life will find a way to grow

Son, you will face opposition as you grow, from a child into a boy, and from a boy into a man, but as a butterfly strengthens its wings when it is forced to push its way out from the chrysalis that helps form it, it is my deepest hope and prayer that your wings will be made strong by your opposition and the victories you will have over the conflict you will face. I pray you will not just learn to fly but your strong wings will allow you to soar!


’ShaBazz’ means 'king of the birds', 'eagle' and/or 'highflier' (my name and calling meant I have a lot to live up to right? lol), but instead of me rising to my full potential I think your dad’s lived more like a chicken 🐓 in a coop for most of his life. A chicken with bursts of ‘awkward flight’ which chickens do; flying from one side of the coop to the other, rather than an eagle 🦅 in the sky, soaring the heavens as he was designed to. I feel I’ve only recently broken out of the box (the chicken coop) that society tried to keep me in. My eagle wings became too strong for society’s chrysalis. Although it helped form good aspects of the man I've become, I had to break out of its system; to be free of its social stymie 💥.

As you grow into the 'eagle' you will become son, may you become strong and resilient, ready to uphold the life you have been blessed with. I will do all I can to help you with this, to strengthen your wings for the flights ahead of you. My lessons will not always be perfect ones, but please learn even from my mistakes. You will still find wisdom written even in my scars and failures😔. You will learn what not to do, and how to do things better than I ever did. Please exceed me.

Love is a cheap four-letter word that is only given value when it is shown. I have shown you love son, and I hope to show you so much more, as God gives me strength of days, and the wisdom true love requires. May the love I show you inspire you to reflect love to everyone you meet, influence and impact.

Please be courageous enough to love without fear of being judged as weak. You are not weak son! Know that you are your strongest when you love with truth, conviction and wisdom. Kindness is not weakness, kindness is courage son! Be kind and empathetic to everyone, please. Your mother is the kindest woman I know, learn from her and you will not go wrong. Be intentional in your pursuit of this very powerful human trait, it's essential to being a good man son. Your middle name, 'Tasiobi', means 'be strong of heart', I named you this because I want you to forever be reminded of this truth, that you are strong of heart young Prince; strong and kindhearted.

I will share more daddy wisdom soon son.

Love you always ❤️

Daddy :)

PS: You have what it takes to be great, son! Always believe this!

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