Sunday, May 30, 2010

Be a good person to be a good parent

Even if you're not a parent, being a better person makes you and all the world better.

A friend of over 20 years posted something negative on facebook and I responded "Negativity changes the world, but not in a good way." Someone criticized me for that, but I don't feel the least regret for reminding people to be positive. We have choices.

Another friend I've known for over 30 years wrote this yesterday, in an unrelated exchange:

One of my mom's favorite sayings was, "Brighten the corner where you are." As a young hippie idealist, I snorted at those words. It's taken me this long to realize how right she was, cuz that's the only way the world heals.
My response was
My dad told me, when I was 15 or so, "You just need to decide to be happy." I thought he must not be very smart.

As I got older I looked back and saw how many situations in his life had involve deciding to be happy and accepting and to make the best of situations. At 15, though, it made no damned sense.

My dad was my best influence. He was generous, helped others freely, smiled through adversity and made the world around him safer and better.

It's popular recently for some people to assert that there is no such thing as "good" or "bad," but that's nonsense. Without knowing the direction we want to go, how can we make choices at all? I think people confuse "there is more than one good choice" with "all choices are equal."

My dad didn't die in the war, though he was in the army during WWII. I was 24 when he died. He was buried in the national cemetery in Santa Fe. He was as good a parent as he could be, and made up for my mom's meanness and alcoholism by being kinder, nicer and stronger. It's not virtue that he wasn't an alcoholic; he just wasn't. Yes, it's a condition that some people inherit, but lack of knowledge and resolve do make it worse, and I'm glad people understand it better now than they did forty years ago.

Today can't be made better tomorrow.

Today you will make choices. Those choices will affect more lives than your own.


Sandra Dodd said...

The site linked on the video isn't there anymore. This is the new site:

It's an Australian site providing information and resources to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Deanne said...

I saw that video a while ago. It's still just as powerful, and so true. I think I might share it on FB for those who might not have seen it.

Elisha said...

I'm glad I saw this today Sandra, I needed the reminder.

I like to say that I prefer to live in the world that I live in, instead of deciding life will suck until we get a whole new [society, government, world order, whatever]. I'd rather see how I can make life better right now.

It meant something to me to read that your dad died when you were 24. I'm 24 and lost my mom not long ago, and I tend to feel like everyone else gets to keep their parents for a long time and it's not fair. I'm sorry you lost your dad so young, but I'm glad to be reminded that I'm not alone.

Tracy Million Simmons said...

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Like a light from the universe, shining down on me JUST at the right time, I needed this very much, not just today, but for awhile now. I have always had such a blind happiness about me, through so many crisis, and hard times. Most people think I'm just nuts, cause I find the positive in EVERYTHING! I was starting to lose that this time. You woke me up today Sandra, so much I am writing with tears. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I forget these simple truths.

Rebeldream said...

Thank you. Spectacular timing.