Life’s longing for itself…

6 thoughts on “Life’s longing for itself…”

  1. Another thought-provoking post, Gayle. Also heart- and memory-stirring. I especially like the question you pose about parents “giving too much power to their children.” I think you mean, what does it mean to be in a power relationship with one’s children? But I know that I as a parent, trying to do things differently from my father who was controlling and thoroughly believed his duty was to control my upbringing, I had a very difficult time not getting into what we called “power struggles” with my son. I think this generation of parents understands, or thinks they do, that children sometimes (often?) need limits set by parents, not because the parents are on a power trip, but because they’re grown up with a grown-up’s perspective and hopefully some wisdom. Or maybe you’re not equating limit-setting with disempowering children.

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    1. Hi Anita, Personally I think limit-setting is a good thing, though it will and should be challenged as a child moves into teen years and older. I think inevitably there will be some degree of “power struggle” as you say, as the child gains independence. That seems like a normal process of indivuation and independence-building, which obviously is not always going to go smoothly. Not necessarily anyone’s fault, though perhaps it can go a little more smoothly if the parent, as you said, exhibit’s some wisdom. Personally I don’t equate “grown-up” with wisdom. People can grow old and never attain it. Some young people have it from the start. Go figure. I’m talking about full respect for children as dignified, worthy human beings, full-bore. I’m talking about the power of respect and non-violence (emotional and physical), not the specifics of child-rearing.
      Is that more clear? Hope so, but let me know if it isn’t. xo, g

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  2. As usual, very well written. Thought provoking…hmmm.

    Raising children… Make that …Bearing children and guiding them.

    I think it’s hard to raise children in a way other than the way one was raised in the first place. It’s easy to use methods that seem comfortable, routine. And although one may have bad memories of some of the things one’s parents did while raising one, if one has any amount of self-esteem, success, happiness… then it’s easy to say, “Well, they may have used methods I don’t approve of –but, hey, it worked. I’m happy”, or “I’m successful, or “I have self-esteem.”

    I know having children made me seek guidance from a lot of books, but my basic instinct on how to deal with my children came from the way my parents dealt with me. … raised me, if you will. And like me, my parents probably made a lot of mistakes. Unlike me, my parents never seemed to seek advice about how to “raise” me. There were no “how to” books on the shelf. I think I was just blessed that, although they had faults, they were very loving people and loved me very much.

    Having, guiding, dare I say raising children into responsible, caring, happy people is a daunting prospect. I see it now with our daughter, her wife and their daughter.
    It’s hard…really hard.. To know if you are “doing it the right way”.
    That sentence has so many variables: “doing it”…Raising? Guiding? Leading? Teaching?… “the right way”…”right way” …by whose standards.

    Then there is that truth that these children that we bear and bring to this earth have their own power and insight. Maybe the best we can hope for is that our “techniques” to “lead” these children into adulthood do not get in the way of their purpose.

    Lots of thought provoking here.
    Thanks for your post.

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    1. Ah yes Sue. I’m quite certain there is no one right way to guide/raise/teach children. Anyway, I’m no expert, and made lots of mistakes myself. What I have in me is the child who was alive 60 years ago, still alive today. I remember feeling whole. Not understanding being treated “less than”, even if that was the norm for how parents and teachers treated children back then. What Gibran’s poem recognizes I believe is what you say in your last paragraph. “…that truth that these children that we bear and bring to this earth have their own power and insight. Maybe the best we can hope for is that our “techniques” to “lead” these children into adulthood do not get in the way of their purpose.”
      Recognizing children’s own power and insight, and getting out of the way of their purpose in life — that seems huge and important to me. I believe they can be our teachers just as much, or perhaps even more, than we are theirs. True, we have responsibility for guiding them and keeping them safe in the early years. But, it’s about not making assumptions and presuming because they are small they are not fully human and fully worthy of our respect. I know Mattie’s mother, and Malala’s father honor their children because I have seen both of them in dialogue with their children. The love and respect is palpable. I imagine Xiuhtezcatl ‘s parents also honor him. How else would he develop such a caring heart, articulate mind, and the courage and self-confidence to bring himself fully to the dialogue of the world?

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