March 15, 2011

Open your eyes

It's hard to teach this lesson to a two year-old.  Joy, you love to close your eyes and flail.  I know you're not mad or throwing a tantrum, you just get excited and playful.  I love to see you happy and smiling without a care in the world.  I wish we could all be this way.  The problem is you do this while your sister is nearby and she sometimes finds a foot in her back or face.

How do I teach you to be aware of your actions and surroundings?  While you're not going to do any real damage, this clearly isn't acceptable.  A tiny kick now, even when you don't mean it, can turn into a crippling blow down the road.  How do I teach you that your actions have consequences?  And that you alone are responsible for those actions? How do I teach a two year-old that if you run down a hallway with your eyes closed, whatever happens to you or someone else, is your fault? (Though I will always pick you up when you're down, even if it is your fault.)

As you grow, actions will also become words.  The consequences of their use will be the same.  You will be responsible for both.  Hopefully you will use them to help people and society.  I pray that you learn how to use them for purposes greater than yourself.  Unfortunately, sometimes you may hurt people.  We all do it. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but many times it's simply because we don't understand what exactly we're saying or who our audiences are.  Whether on a personal level or a world stage, our words and actions have effects.  What those effects are depends on what is being said, who is saying it, and who is hearing it.  Whenever we speak or act, we need to be careful.

So how do I teach you be aware of yourself and your surroundings?  Hopefully I'm learning how to do this.  I'm trying to lead by example.  It's a hard lesson to teach to a two year-old.  Sometimes it's hard to teach to a 32 year-old.

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