27 June 2005

A Matter of Style

A long time ago I used to hear this lady on the radio who talked about education, raising children, and the like. Her tag line was basically that "It's all a matter of style". Coming from a home where education was very individualized, attending a small private school, and being one of those "gifted" children I certainly appreciated this perspective from the moment I heard it. Of course being on the receiving end and know watching parenting styles in action are two totaly different things. Even people who seem to have common sense, who appear to be capable parents, can really miss the boat with their own children. Something about the forest and trees, or being too close to the situation, or something like that. I'm not really sure what causes these lapses in common sense, patience, and normalcy. I guess we are always harder on the ones we love, right? The behaviors in a stranger we find cute or at least tolerable are completely offensive and unacceptable from our own children. The littlest thing they do can just grate on your nerves and make you totally lose all measure of a balanced response. To be clear, I am not talking about myself here, simply pointing out an interesting effect I have noticed in others. While I am sure that given sufficient opportunity I would develop quirks and idiosyncrasies to rival the best of them, at the current juncture it's my complete composure that drives others around me crazy. I simply do not see the point in getting riled up or being controlling. When I was younger, and by this I mean last week, I used to love listening to the same silly song over and over and over again screeching the inane lyrics at the top of lungs for all to share my joy. Why should I stop the younger generation from these same past times? Basically, if two kids want to while away an hour playing "got-ya-last" inside a 4 foot square, why shouldn't they? No harm, no foul. You want to wave at passing cars, go right ahead! Feel the need to run around in circles until you can't stand up? Be my guest. Does your sock puppet want to read the words on every signpost in the city? Have at it. Excepting for activities that are unsafe, why put restrictions and bindings? I know someone who actually has a Limited-Repeating Rule! You can't repeat something more than twice. Are you kidding me? Why strike down such a favorite past time? Are you that self-absorbed that must have silence all the time? Maybe it's just that my own semi-hallucinogenic inner monologue has made this behavior in others seem almost normal. Or at least nothing that should concern me. My littlest sister once said that I was the most unjudgemental guy she knew. Which I took to be a huge compliment. It certainly is something I strive for in my every day life. Perhaps I'm getting better at it? Maybe I'm picking up some of Hyde's Zen-like attitude. Whatever. That's cool.

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