May 13, 2023- The objections offered by the woman sitting in the next room, to the Disney versions of classical children’s stories, which her child, grandchildren-and yours truly were watching, were cogent and well-taken. A woman does not need a dashing man of means to swoop in and solve her problems. A human being does not need another, more “superior” human being to decide how life’s difficulties may be overcome.
Those problems and difficulties are best solved by the person facing them, though they are NOT always to be resolved by one soul, singly and alone. There are reasons why we have issues to overcome and there are reasons why we encounter the people we do, including the parents, children, siblings, friends and adversaries in our lives. Each person has something of value to impart, even if it comes in the form of a challenge or setback.
A couple of times today, I found myself admonishing the little boy in the house I was visiting-a place where I am regarded as a brother and as an uncle. His well-being, and that of his sister and cousins, is of great importance to me. So, I speak up, sharply when needed, and calmly the rest of the time. My lesson, though, was to remind myself that his understanding of life is limited-he’s only f our years of age, and controlling impulsivity is a work in progress. Still, keeping the little one safe from physical harm is a duty of every person older than he. Guiding him to not harm others is also a major concern.
There is a further consideration here. Each of us, in addition to (hopefully) raising the young people around us, is also raising self. Parents and nearby adults (again, hopefully) do the best they know how in raising us. The job is not complete, however, when one reaches the age of 18, 21 or 25. Most of the heavy lifting, from those milestones of maturity onward, falls to the individual soul. We can, many times, consult our elders on a continuing basis, but the final choice is our own.
I learn something new about my remaining challenges, both ongoing and novel, each and every day. How I deal with them, what I choose to do, is not on anyone else. I’ve never been Prince Charming, and have never known a Fairy Godmother, or a Sleeping Beauty. The joys and sorrows that have come from each of the friendships and familial ties I have known, though, are more than enough to inform what I need to do, going forward.
If I can offer the same to the children in my life, that is all that is needed.