In this book Kent Nerburn speaks from his heart about those serious matters which are part and parcel of the masculine journey through life. "Being male is not enough; being a man is a right to be earned and an honor to be cherished," writes Nerburn. His vision of what manhood means is informed by spiritual values of caring, compassion, wonder, giving, stillness, and living in the moment.
He tells his son that "we need gentleness of spirit more than we need greatness of physical strength." An essay on work emphasizes the inner satisfaction that derives from doing something worthwhile. Nerburn believes that giving is a generative act that sets good things in motion. He warns his son about the seductions of drugs and alcohol, the limiting nature of possessions, and the soul sickness that emanates from fighting.
Nerburn bypasses conventional masculine stereotypes by celebrating the delights of art, travel, solitude, and the spiritual journey. This expansive spirit continues in essays on women and men, falling in love, the mystery of sex, partners and marriage where the emphasis is upon responsiveness, honesty, and wholeness.
Near the end, Nerburn gives his son this advice: "Care for those around you. Look past their differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made." Letters to My Son is a wise and well written book which deserves the widest possible audience. It restores soul to the adventure of manhood.