“What you dislike in another take care to correct in yourself.” Thomas Spratt
“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Oliver Goldsmith
Insecurity breeds contempt for any kind of boastful comment. Every time a person shares the most recent event in her young or older child’s life, does not mean he or she is boastful. Size is not better. Learning is not intelligence. Athletic ability is not valor or prowess. Beauty never denotes inner quality. Why then do we fret? We cannot be insecure in our own hearts.
Pitting siblings or grandchildren against each other creates animosity and tension. Stop self-doubt. Each of us holds the potential for greatness. Maybe if we respond with a simple reply of acknowledgement to the parent, we will avoid confrontation regarding who is the superior person. We avoid making a memory we’d rather forget.
Our insecurity and competition, keeps us at arms length, away from each other. We cover up, hide, and embellish whatever happens, in order to compete against a perceived enemy. If we all partake in this game, none of us will win. We’ll all go home defeated. Why are we really competing, or why is it necessary to prove we have a good life, or good kids. If another person doesn’t care, and we don’t care how intelligent or athletic somebody else is, then why are we constantly attempting to make assessments.
How is it we never learned to reflect on what we enjoy and what gives us happiness. I love it when a child comes running into my arms to kiss me, and blesses me with the largest smile. I love it when someone is kind for no reason, and expects nothing in return. I love it when I pour out my heart to another, and they say, “your okay, you just have to see it in another way.” I find that I love people, and I admire their kindness. They innocently pour out empathy, without any expectations.
When I observe this action in children, it renders me speechless. I admire the athlete who never gives up the fight, right to the end of the game. I admire the student, who works for hours studying, to gain the degree, and work at a job they desire. I admire the young graduate, who works hard to make a living, whle offering his time to others. I admire those who have little, yet give so much time and energy to others. I admire the rich, who share their resources, and business finesse, to help the unfortunate. I admire the willing helper who at any time, jumps to the aid of another, regardless of danger. I admire anyone who notices a need, and makes it their duty to respond.
Kids who share, offer support, and even compliment another, are admirable. Many adults find it impossible to give compliments. I sometimes think this can go back to childhood. When parents hold up the goals they want their kids to achieve, it can leave the kids frustrated, and unfulfilled. Usually one or more of the kids will never accomplish such a goal, because they never accepted it as their own. I guess we can’t set up competitions. Someone may notice the athletic prowess of a child, at a soccer game. If another adult chides in, “You should see this other kid play ball”, they have diminished the original compliment. Why is it we all get caught in measurement.
If we searched, we might always find someone who can do better or worse. It isn’t necessary to compare. All of the rivalry is the reason adults are in constant fear, doubt and worry, about any group situation. They need to hear about the new car, job etc. This in itself, should not bother us, but it does because it goes back to the contending. The real issue is if we are happy. What makes us happy? There is no fretting, if life is offering things that make you happy. I often think of the person with three or four homes, that have ten to fifteen rooms. How do they even enter all of the rooms within the month? How many boats, or homes, or material things can anyone own? is their a certain number, that promotes happiness? The interesting fact is, we can be as happy as we choose to be. Honest truth! Words and talk are just that. The person with the big fancy car may hate their life or worry about vying with those in his or her money bracket.
I think if people stopped comparing, we might find more camaraderie. Our first question may not be how long or big was the baby, but are mom and baby doing well. We wouldn’t worry how soon they walked or talked, but rather that they were learning how to get along with others. How we got off track, is mystifying. We are like hamsters on a wheel. We can’t stop or get off without help. Time to help ourselves. Everyone’s child is special and perfect. They are so unique. You can see it when you observe them long enough. Their expressions are different, as are their smiles, movements, walk, talk, climbing ability and more. That is what defines them and makes them so precious. It is insulting to compare them with any other child, because that would be impossible.
I think whatever kids God entrusted to you, he believed that you would be the best parents for such a child. If you believe you have a difficult child, be thankful for the trust God placed in you, to nurture and raise that child. Each child comes with their own set of inner and outer qualities. It is up to us to steer them. Nobody mentioned comparing. We are all in this together. Let’s not make it harder than it already is. Time to see each other as supporters. We are and can be. We just need to erase the idea of competition. We can still compete without the destruction of others. When the victor becomes a tormentor, he is no longer a winner. Look always at the size of a person’s heart. Measure their love if you need to measure anything.
Viewing each other in a more vulnerable way, just might help us to accept each other. Appreciate each person’s effort to live their own life. While at your gathering, look for and enjoy the good of the moment. Even if you are the recipient of boastfulness, smile and mention how proud they must be of their kids. Then mention how much you love, and feel the same way about your own family.
“The hardest thing for any young couple to learn is that other parents have perfect children also.” Herbert Prochnow
“All kids are gifted, some just open their packages earlier than others.” Michael Carr
“If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.” Naval Adm. William H. McRaven