Monday, March 9, 2009
Questions hard to answer
Today i was faced with the difficult task to answer my oldest sons question why people murder other people - we were listening to the news on the radio and they commented on a murder committed where an 18 year old killed a little girl. I did not know how to answer this question. it showed me that while I am almost used to horrible news like this my son clearly does not yet have this negative or should I say realistic point of view of the world. His concept of evil within the human race does not yet exist. And I don t know if I want to instill this sense that the world is not inherently good but has certain dark sides too. It is incomprehensible to him why a human being can deliberately hurt another one or even worse take the life of somebody else. Yet, this is also part of growing up. A sad part I find. I tried to explain to him that some people do not have a good judgement of what is morally good or bad but he still frowned at me. I think a huge part of growing up is to realize that what you could never imagine to happen can indeed take place and that we have to be lucky to not be part of this evil side of the world. I wish I could take away the pain that it will cause to him to see that there will be people who will hurt his feelings on purpose. It is our task as educators to create a sense in our children what is morally right or wrong. But where do I start? I catch myself a lot being irrational if it comes to this. I will explain him that drinking diet sodas is unhealthy only to be asked why I do it.... or I will tell him do not lick your knife and he says: Mum, I have seen you doing it.... to be a role model for my children has proven to be one of the many challenges I face daily. Being aware of your own deficiencies is a first and good step but it is not enough. And it is those little things that I believe will make a difference (so definititely no more licking of the knife....) and shape his character. They say that by the age of 12 the groundwork of education is pretty much laid. Small enhancements will be possible but as a whole his character traits are set. So today I was asking myself what is the most important character trait I would like to be fostered in my son - and clearly it is compassion (not the licking of the knife...) for others that I believe is most important. I vow to be a role model and to show him that caring for others will bring you joy and help you feel worthy. But being compassionate says my friend the Dalai Lama, starts with feeling love for yourself and there I definitely need to work on. I also hope that it is true that if I show compassion towards others it will ultimately come back to me and help me accept and love myself more. So I am making the committment to do something for others each and every day and also to try and be more respectful of my own needs. Which leads me to now stop writing and taking care of myself by going to have an early night. May you all have sweet dreams tonight.