day to day rambling...

Real and not always exciting adventures in life.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Thanks to some friends...

Recently there has been talk among some fellow bloggers regarding helping others (Tao Te Chuck and Bemused Musings). Each blog contained stories about how taking the time to listen to somebody could have made a difference in that person's life.

Today I had my own encounter that I would like to share. I went to the store with my daughter and on the way in an elderly gentleman commented about how lovely my daughter was. I thanked him and he started talking about his grandchild. I was going to try to get out of the conversation, but then I thought about the recent conversations between my friends and thought better of it. I figured I should show some kindness and talk with the man. Maybe he just needed somebody to talk to, so I stopped and listened. He made comments about the troubled status of families today and why he felt families were having so many problems. What I really want to share was his final thoughts before we parted. He said that kids today have no self-esteem. He said that parents need to make the time to tell their kids that they are loved and that they are wonderful. I then thought about my own childhood. I never really felt loved or encouraged by my parents, so maybe he's right. It's too late for me to find out such things about myself, but maybe I was meant to hear this for my daughter's sake.

So I need to thank my friends for their recent posts. While I don't know if my talking to this man was a help to him, it was a help to me. He helped me to realize that there are good and thoughtful people in the world. The little gem of knowledge that he shared regarding raising children will be with me always. So even if you don't know if a conversation is helping the person you are listening to, listen anyway, because the benefits may be on your side as well.


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

That's a cool point, because it addresses another angle that Chuck and Amanda didn't. You never know where lessons will come from and ignoring someone may be a missed opportunity for you to learn yourself.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

You had given me some really good advice in an email recently about my own weird relationship with my less-than-parental parents. You had said that no matter how we handled things as adults (I am paraphrasing here), there was always a scared and hurt little kid inside seeking their parents' love.

Although you said that this complimentary stranger's message was too late for you to hear, and knowing you probably meant because you were grown up now and messages about self-esteem and self-worth aren't as formative now as they might have been when you were little . . . it's probably not as late as you might think. There is always that little kid inside who needs to hear such things and soaks them up like a sponge.

I would imagine that through teaching your daughter to be strong and confident, encouraging her to experience life fearlessly and knowing she has the net of your support and love under her as she stretches her wings, you might begin to undo and heal some of those scars from your own childhood. So, long rambling comment short: it might never really be too late to have those positive experiences, even if you are on the "parental" side of them, this time, doing the kind of mothering for Sophia that you wish you, yourself had had. Kind of cool, when you think about it.

7:01 AM  

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