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Empowering Choices

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Being told who to be, what to do, how to act, what to wear, where to go….. STOP!!

I’m certain we all encounter spaces in our world experience where enough-is-enough.Whether you had parents telling you to be a doctor when you wanted to be a painter, or you are not fitting in because you are different, any one of us can relate a personal experience to being hemmed in. Instead, the expected behavior is required.

This experience that I live is my experience! It is not yours, hers, his, or anyone else. Just mine! I alone am responsible. The question now is whether or not you will choose to empower that in me?

An in-depth conversation included talking about the duality of the human experience. Both of us had observations of what we see in our life landscapes coincide. It lead to other side adventures of philosophy, business, relationships, and even parenting.

Parenting

Above is a rather extreme representation of the conversations inspiration. In fact, all I had done is introduced a memory of parenting two boys, and told the story of a time when they got caught swearing at school. I was still early/mid twenties at the time, and my memories of childhood crisp and clear.

Living in a strict environment, always under a thumb from generations of military influencing parenting, I always found myself having to survive. I have lied through my teeth to save my ass from a beating, and have run away for fear of one too. Running away from home didn’t compare to the number of times I ran home from the school bus to save my ass from further beatings.  Always being controlled.

Kids Are Learning

The art of life and growing up is one of constant learning. Many children, just as adults, learn and experience the world differently. Each child is an individual, has uniqueness, talent, and a way of feeling, interpreting, understanding, and experiencing life. Some will learn more by trial and error, the act of learning through doing, while others learn more by rote. Even others can be influenced by more than one learning style. Whatever the methods, the child needs room to make their mistakes as well.

Kids Caught Swearing at School

When I recounted the memory of the children caught swearing at school, I told how I took them aside to talk about reality. I would hope everyone understands that there are times, situations, and places that our budding adolescent children encounter moments of choice where it is easier to go with the flow than to say no. Before you panic, please understand that I talked to the kids about reality.

The Duality of Reality

We are every bit as shaped by our circumstances as we are by our choices. Yet the choices are the building blocks that move us to higher ground. Listen to me talking about higher ground all the time, and yet and still, I will talk of the ‘other side’. It is what lives in us, and it is also pure physics. Polarity is one reason that Life works, exists, functions, evolves, etc. For our personal journeys, we want to make good choices, and yet, so often along our life path a choice made will lead to a painful experience. We learn and grow from these experiences, both positive and negative.

It’s Not Wrong

I explained to the kids that I understood that they might feel the need to swear here and there when they’re hanging out with their school friends. It’s sort of ‘to be expected.’

Duality of Reality acknowledges this, and that reality does not judge right or wrong; we do. We socialize and educate in ways that place so many limits and conditions upon the limits, with who, how, what, when, where, and why. It becomes a confusing place, particularly as our society blends more and more differing cultural influences.

Let Them Learn

In explaining to the children that they may find themselves in situations where they have the freedom to swear, I clearly gave an example in my own communication skills. Having recently left the military, my language tended to find profanity far more convenient adjectives than finding the appropriate words. I told them the cost of this, through the inability to express more meaningfully and accurately.  If you have the choice, how would you like to be seen? How would you like to be?

Empowered Choice

Giving the kids my little self-example, and allowing them to exercise their own judgment, two things happened. First, we never again heard of any problem with them swearing at school or any other adult-supervised event. Second and most important, these kids did become more self-aware and self-empowered as to owning their own choices over following the crowd all the time.

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