More and more I start thinking of the age-old debate of ‘NATURE vs NURTURE’. Recently there was another school shooting, this time in Florida and it has me wondering. Why are our kids so angry, depressed and prone to violence? Sometimes there is no apparent abuse in the homes of these individuals, there is no truly defined dysfunction….. Some of the most quiet and unassuming individuals are brimming with malcontent and anger. Why? Why are so many teenagers choosing to end their lives rather than deal with bullying and low self-esteem? Why do they cut themselves? I have been on the receiving end of many cries for help, because someone has decided that life is just not worth living. A lot of kids come to me because they feel no one will listen. They feel like even though I am not a doctor, at least I care about them as a person.
Most parents today are so intent upon protecting our kids that we are shielding them from everything. But is that healthy or right? In Nature or the wild other species nurture and care for their young as well,however, even a lioness will allow her cubs to learn to fend for themselves. (Before we go any further this is not in regards to the shooter in the above story but in general.) Human mothers, fathers, grand parents and etc, today are so busy worrying about the boogy man next door, that we may not realize the one being created in the next bedroom. Have you noticed the number of kids that have no idea how to take care of themselves outside of mom or dad has grown? NO? Well I have, and it is very depressing. Young men are becoming so co-dependenton their mothers that they are not even able to hold down themselves without a woman there to guide them or take the reins. Fathers are either absent or fighting a seemingly losing battle for their son’s respect. Young girls that are so lost in the ways of being strong womenbecause their role models have been replaced by reality star icons. The role of Mom is now losing the respect it deserves. Then there is the intense moral dilemma of sex being forced down the throats of everyone within the country by the media….
When we talk to our kids about problems often parents will offer a solution before giving that child a chance to understand the lesson they need to.Think about this for a moment….. How did you learn that fire was hot? Most of us will have touched something as a kid and that sting was enough of a lesson to make us understand that fire was NEVER to be touched again. Life is really no different. LIFE is about learning and processing what we have learned. It is not about giving the answersand protecting. That is actually less about nurturingand more coddling. Going back to bullying because of the recent events, the more kids I talk to , the more I realize that they are so mentally destroyed by words that they can’t help but be devastated by adversity. They have not learned the lesson that not everyone is bad and not everyone is good. Humans can be mean, but that does not reflect your inner being. A lot of parents are no longer teaching their kids to fight back. Not in the physical sense but in the mental and emotional battle of looking to self and realizing that NOTHING anyone ever says about them is worth them internalizing that pain.
I say all of this because we have to do something to help our kids before the next generation are worse. As a parent allow your child to learn the lessons that are needed. It is not healthy to protect them from everything. Lets all learn to teach ourselves which battles are worth fighting for our kids and allow those necessary for growth to be learned. Let kids be kids. Let them get dirty, scrape a knee, pick themselves up and learn that pain can be overcome. It fades…
Why are you here? WHY do you exist? What is your purpose? A lot of us may assume that we are unimportant or that we have no real carbon footprint on this earth. That is further from the truth than you can imagine. Everyone has a purpose or calling even if it is nothing more than being a shoulder for a friend in need. Your purpose in life does not end because you get old or fall down a time or two. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be great in the eyes of many. Your purpose big or small is your stamp in this journey called life. In order to know your purpose you have to know who you really are. Who are you? I tried defining myself again and once more I came up with the same conclusion. I define me by how I chose to view myself and love the person in the mirror. I am pretty darn fabulous in my own world. My story is just my story and not who I am. I talk a lot about getting in tune with the one person you can never escape. Yourself. You will always be you so why hide it?
In class the other day the subject of self came up and how we define the person in our mirrors. A lot of individuals have grown to the point where their identity is apparent however there are still some that do not know who they are. I was one of those individuals for years as I have talked about so much over the past few months. I had no clue about my purpose. I did not recognize the value of me being alive. After discussing self, the conversation shifted to elders and aging. This made me think again about how you view you. We are a reflection of our parents and because of that our self is a reflection of their selves. So if our parents are so important it only safe to assume that our path, our identity can be influenced by them as well. You are your father’s daughter. You are your mother’s son. You are not simply a nobody.
You exist to be you completely. You exist because you are meant to be just as you are only better. Stop looking to others to define you and start seeing that you may not be important to them but you are priceless to yourself. When you think about getting older, how do you see your future? Do you see yourself surrounded by kids and grandkids? Do you see yourself successful in a business or venture? Do you see yourself in a rut or stuck? Think about our parents and grandparents. They grew up with a third of what we did and yet they survived and continued on. They paved the way for you to get where you are. Mom and dad are our mentors and first teachers, just as you are to your kids. You show them how to be the amazing ones they are. You teach them to be perfectly imperfect. That is your footprint. That is your legacy. Not just a big bank account or plot of land. Your legacy lies within your ability to touch the heart and mind of another long after you are gone.
Think about your carbon footprint. What about you will stay in the hearts and minds of those you interact with? When you leave home or work is there an absence that is felt? A lot of us may not think so but in truth we are more noticed than we can ever imagine. We are not simply nobodies. We are amazing beings, full of excitement and love.How do I know? Well that is simple…. Have you ever looked at a flower or one of God’s creations and seen it sighing and considering itself worthless? Even a weed has value to the weed. You have value as long as you see it within yourself.You exist because you are meant to. Just as I am.