Posts Tagged ‘family’

“We do not suffer from the shock of our trauma but we make out of it just what suits our purposes”

Alfred Adler

How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting doors or speaking through walls? For never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs? Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it. If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
From the movie “Smoke Signals”

What is the consequence of being a “good student?” Is it to be a leader, to contribute, or is it simply to have glory? Who benefits from such a good student? Do parents feel successful because their child makes good grades compare to other children. It may be time we change. If a student knows more, is it for his or her glory or could we make it for the greater service of others. Too often, we want our kids to make good grades to increase our status as parents and for them to be better than other students and this, in our competitive society, is almost pathological. If I am better then I am higher, and I look down on you. When do we emphasize that school is an opportunity to learn how to give back, to provide a greater service to others? School is to learn so we can contribute so society not to be better than others.

What is the consequence of our ability grouping? Gifted Classes? Are we raising a bunch of intellectual snobs and teaching our children how not to cooperate with each other?

The honor student is most vulnerable because she basis her whole existence on her intellectual and academic superiority and if she ever comes into a situation where she can’t be the best she may collapse. Good students are not good because they want to be good but because they want to be better. Schools could be places where we teach our children to cooperate and contribute instead of learning how to compete and discourage. Schools could enhance a students belonging instead of pitting student against student, teacher against students, and parents against children. It would require a cooperative learning atmosphere where every one has a place.

Kindness implies a genuine respect for another individual. It does not require submission.

Rudolf Dreikurs

Featured in The Sandspur Magazine, Holiday 2004

I once had a couple seek counseling because he was convinced there was a correct way to decorate a Christmas tree. This created great misery for all the family members.

Sometimes the quest for significance consumes a person’s life. This is particularly true in the life of the perfectionist. For the perfectionist, its imperative that whatever they have planned, even to the smallest dinner party, must go perfectly, without a hitch. They make lists upon lists; in order to make sure whatever they do is flawless.

In general, people who strive for perfection unknowingly want to be the best. They tend to be overly responsible and find it impossible to compromise the standards they have set for themselves. Whatever they do, it has to be the best, not almost perfect, but perfectly perfect.

It is important the perfectionist comes to grips with the tremendous price they pay. The perfectionist will be over-involved, over-extended, bringing high level of stress, and fatigue to their lives. For perfectionists, they reason its only human nature to “do your best.” Perfectionists have such high standards they can never be happy, no matter how well things go.

Those who live and work with such a person often give up wanting to cooperate. They realize there is no way they can measure up to the high standards. Consequently, they may do nothing, and feel resentful of the perfectionist’s “goodness of excellence.” A healthier approach to finding significance is by having the courage to be imperfect. Instead of striving to do your best, simply function, contribute, and let the chips fall where they may. Learn to accept mistakes as a part of life. The only way not to make a mistake is to stay in bed all day. More damage to our self-worth is due to the interpretation of the mistake than the mistake itself. To make a mistake gracefully and without shame is an essential requirement for living.

Real happiness is not possible with unrealistic standards. To gain some sense of inner peace, we need to have a degree of self-acceptance. The most tortured and miserable human beings are those who strive to convince themselves and others that they are something other than themselves. They fail to realize that happiness lies in being ordinary and having others to love.

If you live long enough, trouble will reach you. Some individuals experience more heartache than others. It is not equally distributed. Trouble will occur because we are human. Perfectionism will not prevent bad things from happening, just like it could not prevent the Titanic from sinking. Perfectionism will create criticism and self-blame that leads to greater misery in the world. We are all going to make some bad choices and mistakes along the way, but that does not mean we are a mistake!