Friday, May 6, 2011

In Which Lo Sits Down and Shuts Up.....After a Few Well Chosen Words

Holy Moly.......I am still ruminating and vibrating over Betsy's comment (and her post yesterday) responding to my scathing rant of May3 about unruly children and  their parents' methodologies, using the religions of the world as part of my argument.

I am trying to decide if I am just irreparably batshit crazy or the bravest damned  idiot on the face of.  After digesting  Betsy's rebuttal to my rant,  I realized that I not only managed to attack Motherhood and God in one swell foop.......but,  had I only thrown in a few comments about what I think of the MFs in Congress, I could have been able to claim an attack on the Flag too.   Thank heaven I didn't mention Apple Pie or Baseball ......(I happen to approve of both of those for the time being.......though sometimes I do wish that Baseball would move along a bit faster.)

First, let me say that I have no intention of trying to rebut Betsy's rebuttal.  I think she and I should just agree to disagree slightly   I am glad  the world can relax in the fact that at least several children are being raised in a calm, logical, respectful home and will obviously escape growing up with warped psyches because of punishments or the fear thereof.

Next, it has become obvious to me that I had better try to clarify my position on the subject of God.  I do not embrace any of the Gods of the major religions.  I am not an Atheist.  I have a huge reverence for everything that exists.  I have a "God" of my own invention.......a force of sublime intelligence which keeps the universe from flying to pieces (even faster than it is ) and I believe that each of us and all things in the universe have a spark of that force within us.  But when living in a world that is God oriented, what are we, the Godless, to do when we have to talk about that inexplicable force or about other people's Gods?  It is for this reason that you will often find the word "god" in my writings.  So sue me. Take the word at it's meaning for you or, better yet, at what you presume is its meaning to me.   Without occasionally using that word to express that concept I cannot write sensibly (or frugally......can you imagine what my blog would be like if I had to say "that-sublime-force-which-dwells-in-all-of-us and keeps-the-universe-from-flying-apart" instead of  just saying  "God") ? Yuk.  It's enough to make a person give up blogging altogether.

Also, please try to recognize in my ramblings and rantings that I am a great believer in Irony and Sarcasm to create a bit of humor.  I am very guilty, I fear, of doing this badly and  blurring the line between those and just plain straight, serious babbling.  I will try to get better at this.....meanwhile, you must occasionally stop and ask yourself, "Does she really mean THAT? or is she just fuckin' with me?".

Now....Fear.   I firmly believe that rampant fear is the basis for everything bad in the world.   I will defend that position to my death.  But, I feel that a little bit of fear is a necessary and good thing.  It keeps us from stepping out into traffic and dancing on the Freeway, from jumping off buildings and trying to fly and from lots of things that would be very deleterious to our well being.  As long as it doesn't reach paranoia proportions, a little bit of fear saves out lives a gazillion times a day.  (you may choose to call it "wisdom".......that's OK......however, I see fear as more powerful than wisdom.......sadly.

Finally, in order to explain  some of the thoughts I expressed in my rant ...... I was really just trying too express my bafflement at children's lack of respect and .....well......of love of their parents when they misbehave remorselessly and inflict pain and torture on those who love them.  I was blessed with a near Saint for a Mother.  As far back as the age of 2,  I remember vividly being upset when something I did caused her pain.  (and it was obvious to me when this happened..........I did not need the threat of any punishment nor did I  fear that she would no longer love me.......I knew her love was unconditional.  As was mine for her.  I loved her hugely and did not want to be the cause of any unhappiness to her so I tried very hard to behave as she wanted me to.  This did not, I believe, scar me for life.  That habit has expanded a bit over the years to include tempering my behavior with everyone I love and even with some that I don't.   Call me crazy.....I can't help it.  Since I personally have felt that way for at least 82 or 83 years it puzzles me mightily why  the current crop of children seem to have or show so little love or respect for their parents.

Because that is how I interpret the behavior of the current generation.  And don't tell me that the idea is too sophisticated or difficult for children to understand because I don't buy that.  Why is it OK to "Always Hurt the One You Love??"

Oh,hell.....what do I know?  I hardly know anything.


  1. As I touched on in the comment on Betsy's blog, I think rather than the fear of God (because, like Betsy, I'm a bit of a non-believer) I've been instilling the 'Fear-of-being-a-jerk'.

    It's pretty revolutionary and in its infancy. I'll be able to gauge this method's success or failure by the number of therapists bills I'm paying 15 or so years from now, but basically the gist of it is 'Be good, be nice to people because, well, why not? why would you want to be a jerk to people?'

    I try not to frame it as a 'you want people to like you, don't you?' so much as a 'life is easier when you like yourself' thing. Because being a decent person I find is generally more important than just being a nice person.

  2. Lo, I haven't been here in a little while, but always love what I find when I return. I went back and read your May 3 post, and Betsy's post, as well. I agree with you. A little fear is not going to damage a child. We're born with that instinct to begin with. Fear is what prevents us from doing dumb things. Children sometimes need a little assistance with that.
    But parents must be judicious. My children fear the "loss of privileges", which is how I dole out discipline.
    I do believe that positive reinforcement is always preferable to negative. But sometimes it just plain doesn't work. Sometimes the threat of the loss of a privilege is much more effective. And the use of this discipline isn't to get my kids to do what I want them to do or not do. It's to help insure that THEY do what THEY should do! Yes, and as a parent, I get to decide what it is they should do.
    And the dinner thing - I fed them many varied foods from the day they could eat solids. I'd never complain when my kids didn't like something I made for dinner. It didn't happen much. They have very eclectic palates and like most things from all over the world, but if something doesn't jive with their taste buds I wouldn't force it.
    We need to pick our battles carefully. But we must still sometimes have them. And parents shouldn't fear they'll raise maladjusted people because they use certain discipline. Balance is key: nurture and discipline. ;)

    Gah- it's not easy being a parent these days!
    (And feel free to comment on MY blog, Lo!)

  3. Lo, I don't want you to sit down and shut up, it's just not who you are. And though I may not always agree with you on every thing you write about, I'm glad that you write about it! To much of everything today is shallow. Maybe that's what I think is wrong with children and society.
    But I know a few people who think that I think too much...what ever that means...I'm sure I don't know.
    I had two children and now I have five grandchildren. Two of them are upstairs in bed here at this very moment. My policy is still from a bit of written wisdom..."impress upon your children"... now in my understanding "impress" needs a bit of way or another. Of course they may not agree with my impressing! so I might discuss it or I might not depending on the circumstance!
    I love your sense of fun. I'm doing my best to keep a bit of fun in my posts. But I also want the chance to say what I think and to hear what other bloggers think. If I don't like it , eventually I can delete them...that's my right, though I'm always loathe to offend.
    Keep up the good discussions Lo...I'll keep reading them!

  4. Lo, you're absolutely right about fear. (As you are about most things...!) It's the great motivator that keeps the world spinning. This truth doesn't help us at all in our day-to-day, but a world without fear would be almost as bad as a world without love. I don't want that blissful emotionless nirvana - I want to have to fight and duck and weave for the things I want.
    You are very wise, and I'm as drunk as a skunk.

  5. It's all about balance. Some days (like today) my hubby and I really struggle to inspire, correct, or otherwise bring about good behavior on the part of our grandkids. They are generally wonderful and respectful, but their growth stages require them to test limits and exercise will power, negotiation skills, and the like. "You are making bad choices" is a mantra some days. I have moments when I wish they would jump into line. I know that I did sometimes, but not always, and I wish I had tested and expanded my limits a bit more. You brought about a great conversation, so why sit down and shut up? I don't think that's what you are meant to do!

  6. My Dear Lo, I think we do probably agree more than disagree. No one wants to be around whiny self-centered children (or adults for that matter!) And there are probably many ways to get there, so I hope you aren't ruminating and vibrating in a bad way! xoxo ~Betsy

  7. This is a topic that warrants discussion, and i'm glad you brought it up. There is plenty of room to agree to disagree, and plenty we would agree on, too.

  8. Dearest Lo, you both have good points. I'm with you all the way on religion, kids, sarcasm, irony and everything that exists.

    Now about me... Did you read the list of pros and cons I wrote about having a baby? I put a link on the other post. It's meant to be read with a sense of humour. I'd love to hear your comments. Love C xx

  9. I don't think any two people in the entire world mean exactly the same thing when they say "god", so really the reference is totally up for grabs in my book.

  10. Stick with duck and weave. I always find the scarier the prospect, the greater everything is after confronting it.
    And just by coincidence today my post is about children, ha, ha.

  11. My dear, I knew you were going to be a perfect Wob on the Web [wise old bird]. So enjoyed your posts I will be signing on to follow. Please feel free to share your wisdom on my blog anytime.