You Are Born Free

Hi David,

Once again I haven't found the time to write you a letter in god knows how long. The reason being - my overwhelming sense of freedom. And that is exactly what I wanted to tell you today.

You are free my son. You were born free of all burden, with a smile on your face and a notion that life is ahead of you. It must be the greatest feeling in the world. It must be...

And then, as every parent that came before me in the history of the world, I fulfilled my duty to bestow upon you additional freedoms that you can never shed, no matter how hard you try, my son.

From the very first day of your existence, I got a national serial number in your name, one that in time will open up a whole new world of infinite freedoms in the form of tax codes, employee numbers, bank accounts and who knows what else it will be in place by the time you read this. You even got a fucking email account in your name! You can't hold a bottle by yourself, but freedoms are flying your way day after day in bulk!

One day you will wake up and won't remember anything about these days, when you were just a happy kid. You'll curse the alarm on your phone-tablet-computer-integrated-in-the-head-chip that gets you out of bed. You'll get out of home in a hurry, you'll drive an hour or more, you'll be pissed at every idiot on the road, and then you'll get to work and everything will get much better.

You'll complete the same task day after day, you'll dread coming through the door, and you'll celebrate leaving as if it was a victory. You'll be yelled at, you'll be insulted, you'll fell like there is nothing worse in the world. But, you won't be alone. Everyone else will join you in doing absolutely nothing about it. You'll survive like this your whole life, just so that the numbers in the banking system don't turn red and swallow your life completely, but not enough to move even an inch in either direction. You are free my son, to stay on the path that I unwillingly outlined for you. You are stuck in free fall. It is the ultimate freedom.

Probably you'll read and hear a lot of motivational crap on fucking stupid anti-social networks, telling you that the sky is the limit and you can do anything with your life. But, can you, really? I hope that you do. I hope that you rule the world one day, and stray as far away from my path as possible.

Once again, I'm sorry my son. I'm sorry I couldn't give you the mountains, the trees (they fucking cut them all down to make way for the concrete mazes and jungles) and the skies. I'm sorry that instead I gave you a world were the chains are no longer made of metal, but rather of digits - ones they named possibilities, hope, freedom...

As always, love,

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A Wonderful Man

Hi David,

Today I'd like to tell you a story about Đ° wonderful man, whom I had the privilege of knowing, a long time ago, and the even greater honor of having his blood in my veins. I'm speaking about my grandfather and your great grandfather.

He was a quiet man, never offered opinions or advice to anyone, if it wasn't sought out. He was fighting the Nazis in World War II, but never once shared his war stories unless someone asked. He had a lot to tell, but would always chose his audience carefully. I learned a great deal from him. I can safely say that I am a better man because I spent time with him while growing up, but not nearly enough. Not nearly...

More than 14 years ago, I decided to go and visit him in his home by the lake. Being a minor at the time, I wasn't allowed to go, as there was a war on in Macedonia, which everyone conveniently pretended that it is not happening. Being broke, also didn't help. So, I never went. I'm sorry about that to this day.

About 2 weeks later I received a phone call from someone over there. I don't remember who exactly was, nor does it matter. But I remember the words and the way they burned going into my ear. "Your grandfather passed away today." After that, there was silence. In my heart, and all around me. For weeks. I couldn't even force myself to go to the funeral. I knew I'd never see him again and it was all the same to me.

Believe me, David, I'm trying to always follow the advice he gave me, so that I can become a better man. I hope that one day I'll succeed and you'd be proud of me, the way I am of him.

I can't explain to you, my son, how much I loved your great grandfather Cvetan. I miss him every day. I know that he had so much more to teach me, and to tell me. And I never even had the chance to say goodbye...

Till next time,

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Don't Ever Be Like Me!

Hi David,

I read a poem by Sandra Chapin today. No fucking idea how I came across it, but you can never be too sure these days. The modern life, being hooked to all these gadgets, clicking and reading and before you know it you have ended up miles from where you initially wanted to go... But, I'm going off track here before I even started writing the letter.

To tell you the truth David, I prefer the song that came out of the poem, and not even the original, but the rock version, by Ugly Kid Joe. There's something profoundly sad in the lyrics, combined with the powerful music and... If you never came across the song, please listen to it now, before reading on.

I consider myself a smart person. Maybe I'm not. You'll be able to judge best, from your perspective. But, the one thing I could never shake off as a legacy passed on to me is the fucking loyalty I show to people even when they don't deserve it. It might be based on emotion, might be even the fact that I want to believe in someone even when every fiber of my being is telling me that I shouldn't... Whatever it is, I know it is stupid!

You can't imagine, David, how many times I've almost drowned, going down with a ship. At times when I've known that some endeavor needs an exit strategy, I've stayed, just because I'd given my word at some point, and it obviously didn't matter if the circumstances had changed and I was about to be stabbed in the back.

Take care of yourself first, my son. You are the most important person in the world. If you're not in it, none of your principals would make any sense at all! Take care of your family. Think of their well-being prior to thinking of anyone else. They will be the most important part of your world one day, as you and your mother are to me now, while I'm writing you this rather confusing letter.

Break the cycle, my son. Please don't ever be like me.


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The Eternal Macedonian Struggle

Hi David,

You probably remember how I told you about the Macedonian people, and their eternal struggle, and the countless generations swallowed by said fight. Well, let me tell you a bit more about the people of the old country themselves.

Macedonians greatest enemies in history are Macedonians. You might be confused at this point, so let me try and explain. There's an old Macedonian saying that tells us that only brothers that get along can build a house. If you analyze the saying, it'll tell you that most brothers don't get along, and the ones that do are the exception, not the rule. I've seen it myself, with friends and family, and trust me, my son, it's not pretty.

In a greater, historical context, Macedonians have been struggling due to the fact that even when having the same goal, 2 Macedonians will find a reason (if there isn't one, but there always is!) to go their separate ways and never speak to each other... or even worse! 

When there was an uprising during the Ottoman rule, a few hundred people joined, as the others had a legitimate excuse - they were suppose to get up early in the morning, as it was harvest time. Later in the century, when fighting the Nazis, 20 or 30 thousand people joined the liberation war - the others couldn't, as there was a possibility of someone getting hurt!

In modern society Macedonia, if ever there was a problem, a couple of dozen people take to the streets, and all others tell their children to stay away, as there must be someone who is organizing the unrest from abroad, to hurt Macedonia. We were suckers for conspiracy theories, my son. And I couldn't see the trend ending, any time soon.

And I'm convinced that it wasn't society's problem. It's my belief that if two Macedonians are stranded in the middle of the Pacific, on a life raft, they'll turn on each other and die right then and there, fighting over which direction they should take. And trust me, this is me being optimistic. They might as well kill each other over something much, much more trivial.

The main Macedonian motto, going back centuries, is - don't complain, it could be worse. It has been taken advantage by some many, on some many occasions... And many times, it did get worse, but still, we could never see the bottom. 

In a nutshell, this is the main reason why I'd like for you to grow up somewhere else, somewhere where you won't be asked to keep your head down when you believe in something, just so you'd have a chance of a normal life.


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