How To Be A Better Parent

So I have a brand new vlog! My first vlog ever. It is called LeeSun, Truth Teller.

I began last Thursday, and so far have posted

1 How To Tell If Art Is Good
2 The Truth About Being Good Looking
3 How To Be A Better Parent

This vlogging business is a steep learning curve. At first I was horrified to see myself on video. But here I am, 3 days in, and I am actually starting to get used to it! Anyway, here is my post from today. And here is to exploring truth in this lovely way, and seeing what there is to discover!

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Go on. Call me self-important and arrogant.

KO doing as he pleasesNot long ago, I saw a Russell Brand interview about his opinion of UK government.

I didn’t know much about Russell Brand, as I don’t have a TV, and I don’t follow celebs. But I enjoyed the interview. I watched it twice! Russell seemed to be honest, articulate, passionate, and caring. And I want to listen to anyone who displays those traits, whether they’re famous or not, whether they’re 100 years old or 2 years old or any age in between, and whatever other traits they may have.

Well, since Russell Brand has appeared on my radar, that thing has happened … you know, that thing where you become aware of something or someone, and suddenly you start noticing loads of other references to that thing or person in your day-to-day life.

And the thing that bemuses me, is how so many people get worked up about Russell Brand, actually ANGRY at him. And the main thing they’re angry about is they think he’s arrogant and self-important.

Mirriam-Webster online defines self-important as:  having too high an opinion of your own importance. Seems rather vague. How high is “too high”? If anything, it seems to me that most people have far too low an opinion of their own importance. OF COURSE people should have a high opinion of their own importance.  They ARE important. IMMEASURABLY important. Because they are ALIVE (what a mystery!), and that means just by being themselves they can change the world.

So why did I post a pic above of KO pulling a face? Because KO could care less what any celeb is up to. And KO has got an incredibly high opinion of his own importance. This is the boy who does not feel the least bit sorry to drag his exhausted hard-working mother out of bed at 5.30am in order to play games with him downstairs. Grrr.

Very young children have got a healthy sense of self-importance. Sure, they could really work on recognising that OTHERS are EQUALLY IMPORTANT (take note, son!!!), but that comes with time. That’s called maturing. That’s called empathy.

Ever seen a young child in action, interacting with another person? Chances are, you’ll see they don’t give a flying fuck whether someone is rich or poor, “successful” or not, famous or obscure, “attractive” or not, thin or fat, tall or short, brilliant or bumbling, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, and so on and so on. When a child asks why someone is in a wheelchair, or looks different, it’s not to judge that person. It’s to understand the complex and confusing world around them. It’s a desire to know WHY.

Children instinctively understand that these things do not define a person or determine a person’s worth.  Children are utterly unconcerned with a person’s social status, and more concerned about whether people interact kindly with them, whether they engage with them and are interested in them, whether people approach life creatively, fearlessly, lovingly, and authentically. We can learn a lot from children, in this and in many other ways.

So you think Russell Brand is self-important? Well good for him. Perhaps the issue is not the high opinion he has of himself, but the relatively low opinion you have of yourself? 😀 I said PERHAPS!

So go on, call me arrogant, or call me self-important. I don’t mind. I DO think highly of myself. And I also think highly of YOU!

Good-bye, old friend.

Well, tonight I learned something both disturbing and saddening.

I learned that a friend whom I’ve been out of touch with for the past year and a half, has actually been actively cutting me out of her life this whole time, as she is full of judgement for me and how I live my life.

I had no idea.

I emailed her yesterday to invite her to the wedding, and she emailed me back.

She didn’t ask me how I was doing. She wasn’t interested in knowing anything about me.

But she had quite a lot to say! She let loose a long ferocious series judgments, with condemnation and anger.

All this time, these past 18 months, I thought we were just busy with our lives, and out of touch due to her getting married and moving away from Leeds. I thought she had shut down her Facebook account as I couldn’t contact her on FB any more. It never occurred to me that she was cutting me out deliberately. I hadn’t wronged her in any way.

The message was one-sided, all about why my lifestyle and choices displease and offend her.

Yet she knows nothing about me, my life, what I think, what I feel, what I’m going through. She never asked, and if I were to offer, she wouldn’t listen.

Yet despite her ignorance about me, she saw fit to send me this lengthy diatribe about how I am going against the will of God Her/Himself.

It seems that my (former) friend is an expert on God’s will in my life. Quite amazing, really.

She proved to me in her message that God was on her side, and definitely not happy with me.

Her proof involved a bit of picking-and-choosing from Scripture.

Apparently, when one quotes the Bible, this makes one an expert on the specifics of God’s will for someone else’s life.

It’s quite phenomenal.

I wonder what Jesus would think of that?

Her message to me ended with the comment, “God’s plan is always the best but you have to give up control and commit to that path.” I actually agree with that, with a couple of small adjustments. I would change it to, “God’s plan is always the best so you have to give up attempting to control things (and others) and seek that path.”

Do I know God’s plan for me? Do I know God’s plan beyond what is broadly apparent: to live, to grow, to die, to be?

Do I know what God’s plan involves for me, specifically, from day to day, moment to moment?

I couldn’t say, specifically. The specifics change all the time. But the bigger things involved are: A lot of listening. A lot of being. A lot of living. A lot of dying.

As far as my (former) friend and I are concerned, I am glad our paths crossed and we walked together for awhile. But for the time being at least, our journeys have diverged.

Good-bye, old friend. I shall miss you.