You May Be Right ~ I May Be Crazy


You know what I love about my kids? Not one of them is insecure about who they are. None of them goes about seeking approval. There really is nothing more that I could want for my children. They have hard knocks, of course. And it kills me. You always wish you could protect your loved ones from having to go through any amount of pain. Which is an odd mechanism we have, because we all know that it’s during the painful times that we really grow. Still… no fun.

Weird though. We want to deprive our children of the very thing that will develop a strong character. Fortunately, for them, we cannot actually accomplish this. If we could, we would wind up doing the opposite; creating a very unstable and insecure person who has no purpose. No purpose at all. I can’t imagine a more horrible type of imprisonment than that.

All of this self-confidence sounds very well and good, right? Well oddly enough, and as attractive as it is, I’ve found that others sort of bristle at this trait. They get pissed off because you are not miserable like they are. When someone tries to get you to do something “their” way and you refuse, people cry out, “Good for you!” But when THEY are the ones trying to get “their” way, it’s a whole different cry they make! They say, “Oh… so you think you are perfect? You think that just because I tell you that the way you are is not okay that you don’t have to listen?” To this I say, “Why the fuck would you want to tell me that I’m not okay the way I am???” And then they say, “Well no one is perfect.” So, let me get this straight. No one is perfect. And you think that because I say I don’t have to become the way you think I should be that I’m saying I’m perfect? And you also think that it’s your job to help me accomplish this perfection?

Seriously. Someone explain to me why this is made out to be a rational way of thinking.

Here’s what I say:

Society does very much try to impress its wily ways on us, so those of us who are parents try desperately to teach our children to have a strong enough character not to succumb to those ways. Those of us who are people just living in a society, try to spend our time strengthening our own characters so that those around us are not what we choose to let define us.

And who is society? Well we all like to think that society is “those evil forces around us.” When, in fact, society is us. I think it would be nice if we could stop behaving like the evil forces and make the positive difference.

15 comments:

iamnot said...

Just dropping by to say hi...and I've added you to my bloglines.

cathouse teri said...

Well thanks for dropping by, monsieur! And for adding me! :)

VE said...

Good observations Teri. Parenting is tough and a lot of people are weak and/or misguided. Thank God for TV and Playstation (just kidding...)

ps - iamnot is a longtime blogger friend. He's smart. If he's gonna visit, you must be doing something good...

cathouse teri said...

Thanks, VE ~ and... thanks. :)

Jami said...

I think that part of doing a good job in raising kids is to not only let them be themselves and be comfortable in their own skin, but to teach them that everyone else in the entire world also has just as much right to be themselves and to even revel in it. Nobody's better but everybody's different. And it's all good.

cathouse teri said...

Yep, Jammies, and teaching them to accept themselves goes a long way in teaching them to accept others.

Southern Sage said...

very well said.
A warning to peopl who are anti-self confidence, stay far far away from me!!
It pains me to see parents act that way, I just know they are ruining their kids.
anyway excellent post.

Southern Sage said...

Oh yeah
your daughter is W-O-W looking, very pretty!

Callie said...

All your kids are gorgeous.

I know what you mean about wanting to protect them, though. I have a daughter fast-approaching teen years, and I just want to lock her up in the house and keep her away from all those bad people who might hurt her.

Yes - I'm THAT awful over-protective mom. I know she needs to learn and grow, but she's just the sweetest child in the universe. I don't want anyone corrupting her. :-P

Always a good read, Teri!

Brad K. said...

I think I agree.

http://www.itsaboutmakingbabies.com/2008/03/25/about-criticism/

If only we could get our neighbors to put as much energy into the pursuit of joy, as they do pursuing humor, social position, and self-validation. grr.

Jeff said...

"They get pissed off because you are not miserable like they are."

Man, if that ain't the truth. I seem to be a magnet for people like this.

Doozie said...

I agree..I dance to the beat of my own drum and I have paid for that. But I wouldn't have it any other way. So what If I only have 3 friends in the world. I can be ME around them. I'm trying to impress this upon the boy but unfortunately he has a father that expects him to be "a better person than his parents". What the freak does THAT mean? He has the burden to rise above all of our mistakes? Like you said, our character is shaped by our mistakes and blunders and consequent pain.

Bee Repartee said...

You just described my life currently. wow.

Seriously. Someone explain to me why this is made out to be a rational way of thinking.

I don't know of a body who could rationalize it. You are SO right.

Eleanor Roosevelt said once, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

She sounds as smart as you do. :)

exskindiver said...

the kids are beautiful.
you say this well.
i must digest this.

Don Lewis said...

OK, Now I get the cathouse part! Great blog. I think I was in Subic around the same time as you. Keep posting and I'll keep reading.