Take A Stand
I was talking with a friend recently about the strange phenomenon these days of really nice people raising bratty and frankly mean kids. “How is that possible? Don’t nice people raise nice kids?” my friend asked, perplexed. I’ll never forget years ago seeing a mom and her four children in a lecture hall with mostly adults. The kids started acting up. All the mom had to do was give them that look–the look that says, “You need to behave now,” and they were quiet and respectful. I didn’t have children yet at the time, but I never forgot it. Clearly years of day in and day out parenting went into that mother being able to command that level of respect from her kids. But how many really nice people just assume their kids will turn out fine because the parents are nice?
I was at another friend’s house recently and her young son came up to me and punched me in the gut for no reason. I was stunned and my friend laughed, since she thinks everything her son does is adorable. I was too polite to say anything in the moment, but shouldn’t I have said something?
I wonder if today, with our busy lives, and our over-scheduled kids, if we really take the time to teach our kids to be kind, to treat themselves and others with respect, to take a stand for something, to stand up for someone. How many of us are taking the time to stand up for an injustice or teaching our kids to take a stand, like for a child being bullied?
If we want to create a life that makes us proud, so much of that hinges on our ability to be true to ourselves. But what does that really mean? It means asking ourselves what we value and standing up for it, even if it is scary or unpopular. It means allowing us to be the misfit or the rebel or the crazy one in order to make the world a better place.
Steve Jobs wrote: “Here’s to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world–are the ones who do.”
How are you going to change the world? Who or what are you taking a stand for? What would happen if we replaced complaining with creating?
This is sign I saw when traveling in New Zealand with my family in 2014.