Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with a song still in them.
This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’
….the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family. Have fun. Save a little money. That’s a very limited life.
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that you’ll never be the same again.
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…
You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…
Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…
I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.
The Way of the Peaceful Parent
The Way is only learned by walking it. Here are the steps I recommend:
• Greet your child each morning with a smile, a hug, a loving Good Morning! This is how we would all like to be greeted each day.
• Teach your child to make her own breakfast. This starts for most children at around the age of 3 or 4. Teach them progressively to brush their teeth, bathe themselves, clean up their rooms, put away clothes, wash their dishes, make lunch, wash their own clothes, sweep and clean, etc.
• Teaching these skills takes patience. Kids suck at them at first, so you have to show them about a hundred times, but let them try it, correct them, and let them make mistakes. They will gradually learn independence as you will gradually have less work to do caring for them.
• Older children can help younger children — it’s good for them to learn responsibility, it helps the younger children learn from the older ones, and it takes some of the stress off you.
• Read to them often. It’s a wonderful way to bond, to educate, to explore imaginary worlds.
• Build forts with them. Play hide and seek. Shoot each other with Nerf dart guns. Have tea together. Squeeze lemons and make lemonade. Play, often, as play is the essence of childhood. Don’t try to force them to stop playing.
• When your child asks for your attention, grant it.
• Parents need alone time, though. Set certain traditions so that you’ll have time to work on your own, or have mommy and daddy time in the evening, when your child can do things on her own.
• When your child is upset, put yourself in his shoes. Don’t just judge the behavior (yes, crying and screaming isn’t ideal), but the needs behind the behavior. Does he need a hug, or attention, or maybe he’s just tired?
• Model the behavior you want your child to learn. Don’t yell at the child because he was screaming. Don’t get angry at a child for losing his temper. Don’t get mad at a kid who wants to play video games all the time if you’re always on your laptop. Be calm, smile, be kind, go outdoors and be active.
• When a stressful time arises (and it will), learn to deal with it with a smile. Make a joke, turn it into a game, laugh … you’ll teach your child not to take things so seriously, and that life is to be enjoyed. Breathe, walk away if you’ve lost your temper, and come back when you can smile.
• Remember that your child is a gift. She won’t be a child for long, and so your time with her is fleeting. Every moment you can spend with her is a miracle, and you should savor it. Enjoy it to the fullest, and be grateful for that moment.
• Let your child share your interests. Bake cookies together. Sew together. Exercise together. Read together. Work on a website together. Write a blog together.
• Know that when you screw up as a parent, everything will be fine. Forgive yourself. Apologize. Learn from that screw up. In other words, model the behavior you’d like your child to learn whenever he screws up.
• Patiently teach your child the boundaries of behavior. There should be boundaries — what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s not OK to do things that might harm yourself or others. We should treat each other with kindness and respect. Those aren’t things the child learns immediately, so have patience, but set the boundaries. Within those boundaries, allow lots of freedom.
• Give your child some space. Parents too often overschedule their child’s life, with classes and sports and play dates and music and clubs and the like, but it’s a constant source of stress for both child and parent to keep this schedule going. Let the child go outside and play. Free time is necessary. You don’t always have to be by her side either — she needs alone time just as much as you do.
• Exercise to cope with stress. A run in solitude is a lovely thing. Get a massage now and then.
• It helps tremendously to be a parenting team — one parent can take over when the other gets stressed. When one parent starts to lose his temper, the other should be a calming force.
• Mom and dad need a date night every week or so. Get a babysitter, or better yet, teach the older kids to babysit.
• Sing and dance together.
• Take every opportunity to teach kindness and love. It’s the best lesson.
• Kiss your child goodnight. And give thanks for another amazing day with your beautiful, unique, crazy child.