Thursday, July 8, 2010

Parenting Fail?

I found this today on Yahoo, and I thought it was interesting... and also annoying! Here is a man, a person with billions of dollars, a "success" in life, maybe he's even a good person... I don't know... But here he is giving the best advice he's ever received and it's totally useless to me in terms of money and success.

"The power of unconditional love. I mean, there is no power on earth like unconditional love. And I think that if you offered that to your child, I mean you’re 90 percent of the way home. There may be days when you don’t feel like it, it’s not uncritical love, that’s a different animal, but to know you can always come back, that is huge in life. That takes you a long, long way. And I would say that every parent out there that can extend that to their child at an early age, it’s going to make for a better human being." ~Warren Buffett

One of the things I can for sure say about my parents - despite all the shit they put me through, despite all the shit I put them through, I always knew they loved me. I always knew I could "come home" and be welcomed with open arms. Even if that meant there'd be a fair amount of "preaching" and "sermonizing" and criticism, even if it meant they'd never really "get" me... it was always there... their love for me.

And yet - I'm not rich. As a matter of fact, not only am I not rich, I'm not comfortable, well off, or even just OK. I'm scrambling all the time to make ends meet. Nor am I successful on any level from which I would measure success. I'm not at all happy or satisfied with my life, not at all. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was contemplating how pleasurable it would be to just walk right out of it.

So how useful is it, really, to have received unconditional love from your parents? I don't know... it sounds good, it feels good, but how has it helped me? Am I a better human being? Better than what? Better than who? Of course on the other hand, without it, maybe I'd be living in a box under a bridge nursing my heroin habit - or maybe I'd be in prison - or long dead... But maybe not, maybe I would have pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and made a better "go" at it!

Just yesterday, my friend Michelle was telling me this story about a woman who was on, of all things, the Tyra Banks Show. As I remember it, the story goes as follows:

Her mother died when she was 10, her abusive stepfather put her in foster care where she was raped and abused, she ended up on the street, a prostitude at the age of 11, got hooked on drugs, a pretty terrible life. Worse than mine, that's for sure. And then one day, when she was in her 40's, something happened, I don't remember what, and she got her act together went school, studied law, and became a lawyer. Now, she's a "success" and I bet she has money! So... there you have it... I doubt if she ever had unconditional parental love, even once. And yet, if you measure her life against mine - she'd win hands down.

On the other hand, what if... and this is the other thing I was thinking about after I watched the video... what if... I made a conscious decision to meet everyone, every single person I see, with that attitude of unconditional love. What would happen to my life then? What if, despite the fact that I really really really dislike my neighbors - what if, I met them with an attitude of no barriers, and unconditional love. And what if I went to my job, that I don't enjoy at all, and instead of being all closed into my fatigue, resentment, boredom, and intense desire to run away screaming... what if instead of all that, I simply met each experience with an attitude of unconditional love. What if there was an openess and an acceptance of ... whoa nelly! I can't believe I'm going to actually say this... an unconditional loving of me - screwed up mess that I am...

Now that just might be pretty powerful! Question is, can I do it? Bigger question, will I even attempt it?

Ok, so now that I've talked it to death, here's the video:

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1 Comment:

Shaman Hawk said...

Tyra bashed Sasha Grey for being a success for making mo money for the same sexual activities.

Warren has done some good things and he's probably one of the few people I would listen to about the economy.
Parenting would be easier if there was a guide book in the after birth.

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