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02/12/2014

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jonnybardo

I don't feel like I really landed on earth until my first daughter was born. Before that, Real Life was always in the future, but as soon as she screamed her way into the world, my life mattered. Or to put it another way, "The shit got real."

That said, I've come to feel strongly that the best way for me to serve my daughters and their unfolding is through serving my own. Not in a self-serving manner, but that by actualizing myself, my own dreams, and creating my own meaning, that I can provide an example for my daughters. The last thing I'd want is for them to grow up and see that their father hasn't done what he has tried to help them do: discover and follow their bliss (ala Joseph Campbell).

I agree with you regarding Walmart. That company exemplifies the repugnance of our way of life, with skewed priorities.

herculodge

That is a scary thought, to live a parenting life of priestly self-sacrifice to the service of children that one has forgotten to be a self and as a result has failed to be a somebody for the children to look up to. Your point is well taken.

herculodge

The more I think about it, the point you raise may require its own post.

jonnybardo

I think the good news is that what we most deeply want for ourselves is not opposed to what is best for our children. Really engaging solves the (false) dilemma of "my needs" vs. "my children's needs." I'd even go so far as to say that our children, on some deep level, want us to be deeply happy and fulfilled, partially--but not only--because when we are we are more loving, better parents.


Ed S.

Ourchildren are only visitors. While parents have an enormous effect on shaping them, they do come out of the white partially hardwired, so you can't take all the blame if one should turn out to be a Walmart shopper/worker, which frankly is not the worst outcome I can think of in other words, you don't really have as much control over how a child turns out as you may think. Its nature and nurture, guys.

herculodge

Ed, "Walmart is not the worst outcome." Agreed. But for me Walmart is a symbol for a failed life and a failed country, a return to feudal society.

jonnybardo

Ed, I agree with you. James Hillman calls this the "parental fallacy" and has led to all kinds of (mainly self-imposed) guilt trips. To put it another way, our kids are going to be screwed up as adults no matter what we do.

That said, there are things we CAN do. My point is that we there is a fallacy that a good parent is completely self-sacrificing, when that is merely a better parent than a completely narcissistic one. An even better approach (in my opinion) is to actualize oneself, live true to oneself, and be a model for an authentic, creative life.

Angelo

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-misner-phd/to-the-ticket-agent-at-the-delta-counter_b_4733642.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

Actually, I don't agree with the Walmart bashing. I think every person who is employed with Walmart (in the U.S. at least) has the freedom to resign from their position if their skill-set is more valuable to another employer. I also think Walmart sells a lot of goods and services economically challenged people want and need----including medicines----for less money than anyone else. Anyway, I guess that's an argument for another time? But my link above has nothing to do with Walmart and everything to do with setting examples for your kids that will last a lifetime. One regret I have is from a few years ago, when my son was about six years old. We had a long power outage and I misplaced my glasses. I was looking everywhere for them---it was dark---I was afraid of sitting on them or stepping on them and instead of helping me, he was absorbed in something else. In other words, he was being a six year old. When he saw me overreacting and in panic---and I yelled at him for not understanding how serious losing power and now me not seeing was----I saw his expression go from six year old joy to his own panic. Instead of showing him how to handle a crisis, I showed him what failing to handle a crisis looked like. His Dad couldn't handle a relatively minor issue. Funny----after reading the article I linked to, I talked to him and asked him if he remembered that day from over 3 years ago. He did. I did apologize to him at the time----but this time, I didn't apologize again, but talked to him about how I screwed up and how being poised and calm in a crisis is how you get through a problem----not freaking out. I think he got it.

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