October 22, 2022, Carson City- There was big news out of Grapevine, this afternoon. Aram received his Chief Petty Officer pins, and will now serve in that capacity, in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He will continue to work on his Baccalaureate-and he will earn that, as well. We are a determined lot, we Boivins, as were/are our Fellman relatives.
My day here in Carson was spent with an equally determined bunch, the Smith/Carrillo/Sandoval extended family. The running conversation centered on something especially dear to my heart-the right of each person to be self. It was pointed out that most of the difficulties facing society, both here in the United States, and globally, stem from failure of people to accept each other as they are. Much of this, in turn, seems to come from personal insecurity, and as was pointed out, in another conversation, earlier this week, the notion of zero sum; if one person, or group, achieves or gets something, others stand to lose what’s theirs. This line of thinking has fostered everything from civil wars to the begging culture that arose from colonialism. It was certainly behind the brief episode of screaming and yelling that occurred last night, while I was walking along, and minding my own business. It is behind sibling rivalry, oneupmanship and people talking over each other, or interrupting someone who has the floor, and is speaking in measured tones, or haltingly.
It took a very long time for me to value who I am. I made a lot of progress in that regard, over the course of my 29-year marriage and, thus far, 34 + years of parenthood. I have had precious little trouble accepting everyone else, for who they are, but myself? It’s only, really, been since 2014, that I have been 100% okay with me.
My extended family members, one in particular, stressed that this concept is actually one of the primary keys to the growth of a peace culture, to wit: Parents should lay off pushing their children to follow a narrative that is primarily designed to fulfill the wishes of the parents, and not their own. This affects everything from mistaking a phase in the child’s life for an indicator of his/her destiny to fulfilling, for the parent(s), a long cherished dream, which is NOT necessarily the child’s own, to the attitude that so many have towards people who disagree with them, even on relatively mundane matters.
The consensus of our conversation today was: Let us each be, and love, ourselves.