I was talking over lunch with a friend the other day about our children and how we raise them – I guess what life skills we have taught and continue to teach them.
Are we teaching them to be passive onlookers of life or to be courageous and take risks in order than they can lead fulfilled lives?
Were we the sort of parents who stood at the bottom of the tree and shouted up instructions – ‘Be careful’, ‘Watch out’, ‘Come down from there, you’ll fall’. Did we tell them ‘Don’t run, you’ll end up hurting yourself.’ Did we shout at them to ‘Be quiet’, ‘Do as I say’, ‘Don’t argue,’?
Did we raise our children to conform to a common standard – the clones that we so often see amongst young people today? Or did we as parents dare to be different?
In this overprotective society in which we live are we ending up by anesthetising our children (and ourselves) from life? Of course, it’s the very nature of a parent to want to protect their young, there must be however a balance. It’s easier to do their shoe-laces, to watch over them whilst they are learning to cook to want to reduce the mess and do it all for them. We want them to live happy lives naturally but that does not mean that they experience no pain. The pain of not getting the grades they wanted, the pain of falling out with a friend, the pain of their first broken heart.
I do not agree with the old adage of ‘learn from my mistakes’, I believe we learn and our children too from their own mistakes. How else do you grow? Containing and protecting ourselves and our children from the ups and downs of life is not living. A life of blissful happiness would be as boring as the sun shining every day of the year.
The root of the word courage is cor, the Latin for heart. The early meaning of the word courage then was heart based, doing something from and with all your heart. Today courage is taken to mean showing bravery in adversity. Courage for me means that I act with bravery that comes from my heart.
To be courageous does not mean being a superhero. To take risks does not mean that you have a cavalier attitude towards life.
So what about us? Are we passive onlookers in our own lives? Or are we prepared to take risks in order that we too can live a fulfilled life?
“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialised – never knowing.” — Jim Rohn
- It took courage for me to end my marriage, having no idea how things would turn out.
- When my daughter was ill I found the courage I didn’t know I had.
- I took the risk and had the courage to say ‘I love you’.
- I have the courage to admit to myself and those around me that I’m now ready to share my life with someone again.
- I have shown courage in following my dream of being a writer
- I had the courage to ask for help when I was suffering with depression.