(Originally posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009)
“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”
— Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
Aren’t children wonderful! They enable us to recapture our youth after we have braved adolescence, young adulthood, young married life, and started on our career trek. But along comes this bundle of joy that can rekindle the wonder of our earlier years.
Seeing the joys of discovery our children experience can reawaken the ‘kids’ in us. If we are willing to see life through their eyes, our career-oriented, result-oriented lives could be renewed and refreshed. We might again come to appreciate the joys of discovery. This can lead to a renewed of our relationships to our ‘significant others’ and reinvigorate our efforts on our jobs. Life once again can become an adventure to be savored and reflected upon.
“Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young, Who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, And joined in thy innocent glee.”
— Margaret Courtney
By undergoing this self-renewal through the experiences of our children, we can then become living examples of how life can be for our children. We can lead by example, not by using the old dictums of “…because I’m the [mother/father/parent]…” or “…do as I say, not as I do…” Living a live that revels in discovery and love enables those around us. Let us all thry to live exemplary lives for our little ones and teach them how great and fulfilling a family life can be.
“I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.”
— Mario Cuomo
Let us make a pledge to be a person that our children would like to become. Let us instill in them respect for others, the love of family, the joy of learning, and the exhilaration of service to others. By doing so, we will help mold and guide the next generation to become that next “Great Generation!”