Anytime we start talking about heritage, posterity, or other such issues, we tend to discuss fathers and sons, passing down the family name, holding fast to those elements of society that we hold dear. Yet, we should not forget the role that our daughters play, as well.
In fact, just as Nassim Nicholas Taleb encourages us to have skin in the game, so our daughters can serve as a vital part of that process. What do I mean? Simply that while our sons pass down our family name, our daughters allow some other family to pass down their heritage and name.
Certainly, we do not totally lose our familial relationship with our daughters once they marry into another family, and we do get an additional son from that union, but her name will no longer be your name. She will take on the name of the man she marries.
For two decades or so, you raise her, feed her, clothe her, protect her, and raise her to respect her future husband and to be equipped to provide a good home for him. Then you give her away.
At that point, it is no longer your job to feed and protect her. It is now her husband’s job. And it is her job to adminster his home, bear his children, and work with him to raise up the next generation.
I honestly think that the fact that the daughter takes her husband’s name is one of the hardest things for fathers to endure, but also an important gesture. Oh yes, we have skin the game. I do not just mean in our own families, but in our whole culture. It is not just about passing down our family name, but about maintaining civilization. Your daughter loses your name, but she is absolutely vital for the culture to continue.
Your sons will take the daughters of another family and graft them into your family tree. You will offer your daughters to other families to be likewise grafted into their trees. This is part of your sacrifice.
And that is a joyful, beautiful thing.