I was watching this movie the other day and they talked about we slowly become our parents. We realize they are just human as we are and make mistakes. They said we should take all our parents good qualities and throw out the bad. I hope I take my dad’s cliches and quotes. I hope I take my mom’s attention to detail. I hope I take the things they taught me. I don’t always agree with them though. I’ve had countless conversations with them about discipline. I think the line gets fuzzy real quick on what is too far or not. I think each child has a different line and responds to discipline differently. My parents did what they thought was best for their kids.
Neither of my parents listened when Theodore Roosevelt used the African proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” They raised their voice and carried the big stick! I don’t want either. I don’t wanna raise my voice or carry the big stick. I’ve tried to speak with care and concern while I’ve been in college. I want to be able to speak calmly and with attention. In trying to work on it and be conscious of it, I wind up just walking away when I’m upset. I’ll come back and address the situation, but I need time to gather my thoughts first because I don’t want to say something I’ll regret later.
Truth be told, I don’t know which is better. To be like my parents and be passionate or to be like me and be cautious. There is good and bad to both. When they love, they love big. My parents have some of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. They are so giving and generous and loving. I’ve listened to them and I’ve read studies. I’ve tried to form an educated and informed opinion. I think I am creative enough to come up with alternatives that will support my beliefs and opinions while benefiting my future children. I know I won’t be perfect. I will make mistakes. They will probably have a list of things they want to do differently. I hope they do. I hope they are better than me. At the end of the day, I hope they see me the way I have come to see my parents. As imperfect humans doing what they believed was right with the best of intentions.
I’ve heard that a lot of differences between parents and children is generational gaps. They were raised and taught one way and we were another. On an episode of Bones, Dr. Brennan made a comment about how we have to be better and surpass each generation because that’s how society gets better. I think that’s true. Their generation was taught that “no means no.” Which I think was a start. However, I was raised in the “yes mean yes” generation. That what I wear doesn’t condone that kind of behavior. That even silence in not an invitation. That until I give a completely clearheaded yes, there is no consent. I believe I should have the power to change my mind and say no at any given moment. I believe that I should be able to take things as slow as I want or need. Anything less than that level of respect is not ok. I think my generation got that right, but I also believe that my generation could learn a few things from their generation too.
So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I keep questioning everything. I pray that I keep learning. I pray that I keep becoming the woman I want to be. I pray that I stay grounded in what my parents taught me and learn new things for myself too. I pray that most importantly I keep listening for you. I pray you keep guiding and teaching me. Thank you for my parents. Thank you for guiding them. Thank you for their love and support. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.