Charity Within the Family

I have always found it strange that people will not extend the same charity and understand to their own family that they will to a stranger, a friend, or a coworker.

If I call someone family or not, they will always be family. I don’t expect agreement on all issues. That is impossible. I do not expect perfection, as that too is impossible.  Flawed isn’t negative, it is real.

Not every issue needs to be beat into an agreement.  Is that even possible?

My hope, my prayer is that all my relationships, especially with my family, will be one of by mutual charity, understanding and love. Add to this the knowledge that we are all human, and flawed.  May I never be so caught up in the flaws that I fail to see the good.  May my desire for who I wish they were never cloud the reality of who they are and my willingness to accept truth.

Teenage Rebellion

Most of the time, what my Mom wanted me to do was for my benefit.  She did want me to get a perm.  Not sure why, but for years she kept telling me to get one.  I never did give in on that one, and I am glad that on that point I held my ground.  There are embarrassing pictures of my youthful rebellion floating around, but no perms.

My hair is naturally curly.  I hated it.  The cool hair in junior high was the Shawn Cassidy hair, parted in the middle, straight, and feathered back.  That was never going to happen with my hair.  Fortunately, times changed, and later in the ’80’s I could do all kinds of things with my hair.  The curl was good, and as much as I could never feather it, I sure could get a pretty good pompadour.

It would be nice if hair was all there was to teenage rebellion.  I would be fine with whatever hairstyle or clothing.  Unfortunately it doesn’t always express itself that way.

My oldest son is 16.  He has managed to find his way into all sorts of trouble.  He does not go to regular high school.  He has done drugs, stealing, and hanging out with the wrong crowd.  He has even been arrested for possession.

I use to believe that kids go that way because of bad things that happened in their lives.  I’m sure that is a cause for some, but I no longer believe that is always the case.  I’m not a psychologist.  As much as I am vesting in my child and trying to figure out his motives, I cannot do so.  If there is something I don’t know of, he isn’t sharing it.  Boredom and companionship seem as much a driving force as escaping pain.

As a parent that it is easy to blame yourself.  We have made mistakes, as no parent is perfect, but this isn’t how we raised him.  I want so much more for him.  I can reason through the pain, as I do not control him.  He is an individual who makes his own choices right or wrong.  That does not erase the pain.  I think too many parents beat themselves up over their child’s choices.  It is easy to do, but it doesn’t make it right.

I can share my values, and talk to him about why they are important.  I can love him deeply, and I do.  I can and do impose rules and force compliance.  What I can’t do is force him to embrace truth.  That must come from him.

I believed strongly that if we could move him to a different place it would change the direction he was heading.  I am not sure of that anymore.  There is that element everywhere, and as he has made his home among a certain group, he will likely seek out that group no matter where we are.  It has become his comfort zone.  It is up to him to change that.

I have seen kids I grew up with go that same direction.  Some turn out fine, but many handicap themselves for years.  Some never make it out at all.  I wish he had chosen better.

I wish his rebellion was saying no to a perm.


Support the Arts

One man sees a play which he really enjoys.  He tells his friends that they should go see it and they do, thus the play is a success.

Another man sees a play that he really enjoys.  He tells his friends and everyone else that they must give the play $5.  It does not matter if they see it or not.  To those who object he offers scorn and criticism for their failure to support the arts, and forcibly takes the money from them.  After all, the play is art and must have support.

The former reflects the natural order of things, while the latter reflects governments view of things.

Personally, I prefer the former.


John Wayne – Five Rules to Remember in Life

John Wayne

1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. 

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard’s name. 

3. Help someone when they are in trouble and they will remember you when they’re in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

And my favorite John Wayne quote…
“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”