9/21/10

Be like Water

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. ...-Bruce Lee
I am not one of those adults that you meet who gripes about their youth not being a bed of roses. I can certifiably say that I would not want to go back to my childhood, but that does not mean I would want it erased either for such lessons learned from such experiences have opened so many new doors that it almost feels like part of the grand plan of my life; as if it was all meant to be just so.

Growing up, I quickly learned that sometimes the authority figures everyone admires and adores are not the saints they are painted to be. I witnessed these scenarios enough to know that not all truth that is put out there IS truth; not all that we see, hear or told is truth. As a grown woman I could not be more thankful to such experiences for it has allowed me to connect with what we all call 'the underdogs' in every situation. These peaks into the secret lives of seemingly benign individuals has forced me to disconnect from their ideas and beliefs and propelled me to keenly develop an inner world in which I rely heavily on my instincts, my own experiences and own inner voice; but most importantly my own understanding on any given situation.

So when navigating through a political situation for example, there are people who advocate for themselves and ones who advocate for the larger whole. I have come to see that people who advocate for the greater good have often been the 'underdog' themselves. People who take a more humanistic approach to all interactions tend to have experienced hardship and suffering in their lives and have somehow 'worked through it'. I have also come to notice that people who have experienced hardship, and have not proactively dealt with it emotionally fall under the category of the ones who advocate for themselves.

So as a parent, I want my children to also adopt this unique humanistic approach towards other humans without going through all the same hardships. In order for them to develop this flexibility of spirit and this ability to work past even the smallest of hardships, we ourselves must not define or label ourselves by the pain we have suffered. We also must show enormous flexibility and poise when dealing with simple everyday problems. I once had a student who told me she loved her dad because he volunteers at a homeless shelter. Children have this innate ability to absorb and utilize all situations in their world as learning experiences, share with them all your tools in your toolbox. Before you know it, they will too be brave, speak up for the weak and fully believe they have the ability to change their world.

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