You know who was tough? Genghis Khan.
Lately I’ve been gripped by my legacy. Literally. He grabs my glasses and drools all over them. Behavior which I encourage, by the by; somebody in the next generation has to keep the nerds self-hating and socially awkward.
But being a father, you begin to think more about what you’ll leave behind for your kid. You begin to actually look at health insurance spam, you recycle, you buy a lot of Metallica on CD so that Rap Metal can never, ever happen again
I’ve also been reading a lot – which, beyond street signs and coffee labels is odd for new fathers. But there are two fairly recent books out about Genghis Khan and his wide-reaching legacy that I’ve read. Forget what you’ve learned from John Wayne movies, Genghis Khan (or Timogen to his peeps) was some shit. First recorded ruler to subject himself to the same laws as those he ruled. Guy invented diplomatic immunity, separation of church and state, created a written language for Mongolian, and conquered everyone and everything that could be conquered in the Eastern hemisphere in the 13th century.
And then he died, and then his sons drank and sexed and squabbled away the world
The second book is about his daughters, and how they basically were the only thing holding Mongolia together until they were taken out by their brothers or husbands or sons. The author comments that as much of a genius as Genghis Khan was about everything else, it was his failure as a father that led to the fall of the Mongolian empire.
An empire that spanned from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean sea fell to savagery and ruin…all because he was a bad father.
I gotta get a 401k. And take my kid bowling.