Becoming a Whole Person

I love questions I’ve not thought a lot about. They remind me that the only answers that matter are found in the heart, not in the head.

Steve Roberts color photo: grandson Jacob
“So, Buck,” my grandson, Jacob Ring Johnson, 15, says to me, “I would really like it if you would give me your view on the impact women have on men.” 


That I have lived enough, and died enough, to be blessed with such a question from a child I adore causes my heart to blossom into a big shit-eating grin.

Even though Jacob and I live about eight hours apart, whenever we see each other there is no shortage of free-form conversation.  In fact, his question about women and men came during our most recent road trip after he and his brother, Sam, 13, had given me a song-by-song commentary of the “Recovery” CD by Eminem, a rapper known to me only by name until the boys and I listened to each cut at least three times on the car’s stereo.

Usually, ear pods planted, Jacob is like a monk chanting softly to himself in unison with Eminem’s every syllable and nuance.  Which prompted me to ask him how many times he’d listened to this particular CD. 

“Oh, many.” he said, 

“More than a hundred?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, “I believe I’ve exceeded that number.”

His turn of phrase often leaves me smiling.

I love questions I’ve not thought a lot about.  They remind me that the only answers that matter are found in the heart, not in the head.  And, they are always there waiting to be discovered.  Even if the answer doesn’t exactly match the question.

A whole person, I said to Jacob in so many words, is one who contains the balance of masculine and feminine qualities.  So the reason men and women, boys and girls, come together in all the ways they do––as siblings, as friends, as sweethearts, as parents, as colleagues––is to help create that balance, that wholeness, in the other person. 

“Hmmm,” says Jacob, “I wish you could come talk at my school.”

Boy.  There’s that grin again.


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