When I was raising my children, there was a standard trend to treat children as individuals. It was a part of the growing psychology of the day. It was the trend.
Every generation, every social movement has its experts such as, Benjamin Spock, James Dobson, PhD. or Robert Myers, PhD. The cultural meme flows as if it were a living thing. Maybe it is. Maybe instead of flowing, it vibrates as the music of the generation beats through our bones. Pulsating like the jazz of the 1920’s or the hip thrusting music of Elvis in the 1950’s. Once children were born to a family as if they were slaves. The more children in a family, the more wealthy you were. Now there are countries that are needing families to procreate, such as Denmark.
Have children changed? No. Babies still form the same way as before. They cry when their hungry or tired. They grow up and develop just about the same as they have for 100,000 years or so. So what’s the deal? Why do we fuss so much about pre-K and special formulas?
There are two things that impress me the most in mankind’s progress. The first is the lowering of disease and mortality, which includes childbirth. Think of how precarious it was for a woman to give birth even just a hundred to two hundred years ago. The second is the increase in brain size which happened a lot further back. And there are certain things that we have learned that have made an enormous impact, such as the need for touching and talking to your child. And how important it is to their neural growth. This isn’t instinctual in mothers by the way. These are things that are taught from one mother to another.
Babies are still babies, but as parents I think we’ve come a long way. As a society and as humans we have a lot further still to go. Someday we might discover the virus that spreads this disease of war and be able to immunize our children at birth.
What if you only had one year of pleasure with someone who you loved deeply? One year with your favorite person. One year to sit beside them, hear their voice, listen to their stories, but one year only. It ends. It wouldn’t be enough but I think it would be better than not ever knowing them. You’d grieve. You’d cry. Would all the joy you shared be worth the pain of it ending?
What about a passion you enjoy? If you could pursue it but never complete it, would it still hold the same fire? Would it be alright to have one hit only? One song, one novel, one win or one great speech? These are the weird thoughts I think of while quiet and alone, which is probably too often. One of the reasons why it’s not good to drive a long distance by myself. I once had a dental procedure and the nitrous oxide made me think some deep thoughts, but unfortunately I don’t remember them. The meaning of life and the secret knowledge of we are all one.
For most of us we never have this choice. For most we never know the outcome when we start, whether a relationship will end suddenly or if it will die in monotonous, day-to-day living. Maybe the questions are wrong. Maybe I should be asking, if you got bored after a year would you still be fired up about the new project?
What overtakes us when we’re in love? What is this passion, this force that motivates us to set ourselves aside?
What you don’t understand is
I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya
Read more: Bruno Mars – Grenade Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Last winter, after a ridiculous ice storm, I got out of my warm home for two reasons, both for love. Early that Saturday morning I went to watch my oldest son walk across the stage with the other college graduates. I wouldn’t have missed it. Zombie attacks, apocalypse, earthquakes, or whatever. I love that boy.
Later that day, and not a bit warmer, I stood in a line that wrapped around the corner and the along the side of The Brady Theater. A light drizzle of ice was falling, but my friends and I stood and waited and shivered. Why? Our favorite band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, was playing for the Rockin’ Christmas concert.
But I would walk five hundred miles
And I would walk five hundred more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door – Proclaimers
Passion motivates us to do many things. And you can’t fake it. I’ve tried to be passionate about things but there’s no life if there’s no love. No zest. It’s an internal motivation that can’t be bought or borrowed. Forcing yourself to complete a task you hate is necessary at times, but you won’t hurry up to do it again and the time spent doing it is draining. Exhausting. I’m currently reading a book called DO NOTHING. It’s a very Zen or Taoist concept. I’ve played with this notion for years as I’m sure you have too, but I think I understand it now. So I stop grasping at every loose end and unfinished task. Focus on what’s the most important and the tasks that are lead by my motivation. There are two questions that have stuck with me that I read a few years back in a time management book,
What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you up at night? These are your passions.
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