Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stewardship Lessons and the Vacuum

My daughter did not understand why, after the house was empty and all of our items were packed, I left the vacuum behind and deliberately went back into every room to vacuum.
"It's not the way I was raised," I said.

"And it's not the way I'm raising you."

"You take care of things, leave things clean when you're finished with them, and steward the resources entrusted to you with the greatest possible care."

I didn't make her vacuum, I simply took care of it.

I hope it's a lesson she remembers for life.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Teaching our Children (Non)Violence

I stood outside the door of renown theologian, Stanley Hauerwas.

He has many diverse articles posted outside his office - including this memorable one about how we inadvertently teach our children how to be violent.

Here's an excerpt:
The (four or five year old) boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me." All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.

 . . . too often we fail to feel situations 'from the child's point of view,' and that failure leads us to teach our children other than what we think we're teaching them.

From The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children.  The aTLC is dedicated to supporting parents, caregivers, professionals, and policymakers in practicing the art and science of nurturing children.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Wrong Perception, Miscommunication, & Displaced Anger (Loss/Fear)

Thich Nhat Hanh has been influential for decades.
Many years ago I came across a portion of his teaching through OnBeing, and have recently read several books authored by "Brother Thay."  

In the great interview I cited here, Brother Thay talks about how all problems in life boil down to our wrong perception, mis(sed)[ing] communication and displaced anger (usually as the result of some fear or loss.)  

I've shared this with my own children - and with others.

If you find yourself in conflict, trouble, dislocation or difficulty now - perhaps you should ask yourself these simple questions:

1) In what way might I know have a wrong perception about this person/situation/issue?
2) In what way might my communication - both in sharing and in listening - be shaped by something that is missed or missing in miscommunication that needs to be made right?
3)  In what way might this conflict be about some loss, grief, or fear that is about some issue of anger that is not specific to this situation, that I am inadvertently bringing to this situation?  What am I *really* angry about?