I think many of the most popular lessons we teach our children are lessons that we ourselves need to learn. As adults, we’ve simply learned techniques and mechanisms to cover over many of the raw emotions are acting out over. And good thing. We wouldn’t want an entire adult population to act like 4-yr olds. That would be a catastrophe.
If you’ve been alive in the last 10-15 years, the gospel of positivity has knocked at your door, especially if you’re living in the 1st-world. People have made crazy money at promoting a message of optimism and positive thinking and virtually turned it into another religion, which the world has way too many already.
I love airports delays. Now, I know I’m crazy for loving to sit on the floor anxiously waiting for the speaker above my head to call my flight number, but everything about this crazy wait causes a breakdown in our overly stressed-out, hyper productive society. I love watching how people respond when the gods of the airport disrupt their jam-packed day. There’s nothing they can do; they can’t solve their problem by jumping on their cell, sending an email or raising their impatient voice. The greatest fear of American society hits the entire population of terminal A – boredom. No TV, Internet, friend to pass time away with— no one but their self, their conscience, their soul. They’re trapped with nowhere to turn but inward.
Everyone wants to be successful. It’s grafted into our DNA to want to achieve, to accomplish and add significance to our lives. Even if it’s hard for you to admit that you want to be successful, take a moment to think about it. You may not want to be the next pop star, but you probably want to be a successful parent, successful at your career and successful in relationships.
I wish I had no problems. I’m sure you do too.
But, if you’re alive and you interact with other humans I bet you have a few problems to solve.
They’re everywhere. You can’t avoid them. You try really, really hard to avoid them, make believe they’re not there and in many cases just flat out ignore them. From childrearing, to the business world, mathematics, production and even just ordering something online - problems are in our face all day, every day.
It was day 6 and the middle of the night when my wife and I were abruptly awoken by a loud, obnoxious ringing from our hospital phone. We had been sleeping at the hospital for 6 nights, while our other 3 children were being cared for by various friends in our church community. The doctor’s voice on the other end of the phone was laced with concern at best and terror at worst.
There are two things I’m sick of around the holidays. One, I’m not a fan of the over-marketed, consumer-hungry messages that are plastered everywhere, telling me that in order to have a happy holiday I need to give and receive lots of material things. Second to that are the exaggerated counter-messages that attempt to remind me that the holidays not about gifs and materialism. Both sides of the spectrum tend to leverage guilt and fantasies of what life “should” look like but never seems to turn out that way.