This really happened. I asked my son one day:
What a dilemma! How to teach kids to face the awful truth without becoming awful in the process. If I asked you, “Do you want your child to succeed?”
Would you answer, “No”?
Of course you wouldn’t!
Every parent wants their child to succeed. Regardless of their hopes, no one imagines their child as a homeless drifter begging for spare change and sleeping in the park. We all want good things for our children. And yet things can go wrong at times. So how can we prevent that?
According to the dictionary Success is:
A. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
b. The attainment of popularity or profit.
(In other words, getting what you want and people to like you.)
IF getting what you want and people to like you is the measure of true success, then how do you explain all those popular people who got what they thought they wanted and are still miserable?
What is true success, then?
I define success as: “the ability to take care of ourselves and others and find love in the process.”
Taking care of one’s self is a big job. It’s more than just physical. It means finding your unique place in the universe. Discovering the talents and gifts you’ve been given to enrich your life and the lives of others, and finding joy in sharing them.
‘Others’ must be included in the ‘taking care of’ part of our lives, or we will never really feel useful. We are inextricably connected to ‘others’ whether we like it or not. No one else is where you are. No one else can reach the ones around you better than you can. Irma Bombeck used to say that the cure for depression was to go out and do something nice for someone else. I never forgot that, and every time I’d feel bad I’d take her advice and it would work!
I believe true success in living comes when we:
- discover who we truly are, while we are
- striving to attain what we want, and
- manage not to hurt anyone in the process
So what does a child need in order to develop this kind of true success in life? The same three things we all need:
A sense of SECURITY,
The desire to LEARN and grow,
and SENSITIVITY to others.
How do we get a sense of SECURITY?
Starting from the beginning of our life, SECURITY comes from the presence of these three things:
Safety of Body,
Soundness of Mind &
Goodness of Heart.
1- Safety of Body
When our body’s basic PHYSICAL needs are met, we begin to feel secure. That means having food and water, proper activity and a place to rest when we are tired. But we also need:
2- Soundness of Mind
When we feel secure, we feel safe to explore and LEARN. When we feel attunement from others while we are learning and exploring we begin to develop confidence and a sound mind that can open up to greater learning.
And of course the thing we can’t live without is:
3- Goodness of Heart
SENSITIVITY to others comes as we experience love and acceptance from others. Feeling loved allows us to be able to love. Then we can begin to feel secure enough to extend that same acceptance to others.
SECURITY, of Body, Mind and Heart are needed to create a firm foundation for a life without anxiety, confusion and fear. And for that having good parents can really help. Then we feel confident to pursue our goals with confidence and without the confusion of anger creating a wrong desire to hurt others.
Everyone gets hurt at one time or another. Things can go wrong. But we have a better chance of healing, if we’ve built a strong foundation in the beginning. When the body fails, the mind is there to hold it up. When the mind fails, the heart carries us through. There are kids out there who don’t even have parents, or have parents who aren’t paying attention. Never underestimate the power you have to bring order out of chaos and perspective to a young mind near you!
There’s so much more to explore! I’d love to know your thoughts!
Till next time,