This summer has been a pretty great one for our little band of Battys here in Hyde Park. While Ann and I have held down the fort, Alex and Nick have continued to learn, experience, and grow.
Just as it should be.
Both of them have taken the time and the care to share some of their insights with us, helping us all to progress together.
I think one of Alex’s experiences is worth talking about today.
When Ann and I stood back and watched her fly from the nest a year ago, we had concerns about what this new chapter of her life would bring.
But we never had concerns about what she would bring to it. She’s simply pretty AWESOME.
As she has ventured out from the relatively homogenous demographics of Cache Valley, she has discovered a whole new world of people and beliefs and thoughts and value systems.
Continue reading Are we confusing association with participation?
There’s a lot of hate out there. People who have allowed it to consume them are doing some pretty horrific things.
That makes us frustrated and shocked and sometimes even numb.
And then along comes anger to pull us out of it. Anger thrusts us into action, although often it is without thorough thought about what may come after we jump into this particular anger-induced act.
The call for our leaders to do something, be they political or religious, screams in all of our ears.
For some reason I find this a bit ridiculous. What do we expect them to do: tell us to be nicer to each other?
No, we expect them to severely punish the perpetrators. I wonder if that isn’t more like standing in the storm, calling for the lost horses after they have stampeded out into the night.
It makes us feel like we’re doing something, but…
Continue reading Hating hatred
Remember when we were kids and we had done something mean to someone else, and our parents caught us? Usually we were grabbed by the ear and placed squarely in front of the offended child.
“Tell them you are sorry.”
This was followed by a look that combined but-Mom-I-was-right-and-he-was-wrong and do-I-really-have-to?
Of course our mothers understood what our look was communicating immediately, and just as quickly they returned a look that WE understood immediately.
With a gulp, and a kick at the dust, we turned back and muttered “sorry.”
It’s probably safe to say that 98% of the time we weren’t sorry at all.
Well, probably sorry we got caught, but that was about it.
I’ve thought about this childhood experience as I’ve witnessed some adults offer apologies.
Continue reading I’m really sorry, but…
This is part 3 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide
For part 1, click here
I keep reminding Ann that I am not the lemon she married 25 years ago, but have blossomed into something pretty wonderful. She may agree that the lemon is gone, but I’m not sure she would go so far as to say I’m something wonderful.
Oh well, one step at a time I suppose.
One example of me being a lemon (or just a downright horse’s backside) happened not long after we were married. As I was blowing out the door to class one morning I said something along the lines of “be sure you get that car washed and cleaned out by the time I get home.” (Yes I know, I still cringe at whatever stupid pill I had swallowed that morning.)
Anyway, when I got home that night the car was sitting in the driveway, in exactly the same condition it was when I left that morning.
I was dumbfounded.
Continue reading Empathizing vs. enabling
This is part 2 of a 4-part series on Simplifying the Semantics of Suicide
For part 1, click here
A friend posted a link to the story of Madison Holleran. It is an article about a young woman who committed suicide. I recommend the time to read it.
In digesting Madison’s story, you will see that she was smart, athletic, popular, in demand at several universities, and surrounded by family and friends who all cared deeply about her.
Madison was loved by so many.
But as near as I can tell, she did not feel she was loved by the one.
Let me explain:
Continue reading Being lonely vs. being alone