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January 06, 2022

Good Morning Friends & Digital Neighbors! Blessed Feast of the Epiphany! Christmas was only 13 days ago, and for so many it is an eternity ago. Is it a natural trait that we rush forward without savoring the moment or is it a modern trend because of our fascination with the new or what's next? I would like to think it is a modern affliction rather than out natural inclination, we just adapt to the environment and the times knowingly or unknowingly. Hmm, on to the Oxymoronica!

A few quotes on parenting which is such a demanding and amazing vocation in life. Prayers for all of your parents out there - one with all of their children raised and those still in the works. I can't imagine anything more important that being entrusted with the humanization, education and formation of another after you have seriously examined that reality for yourself. Most people don't seem to realize that they need to do that for themselves before they get entrusted with a little bundle of potential. Prayer for the many I have met along the path and have survived bad parents and very fractured relationships within their families.

To receive applause for works which do not demand all our powers hinders our advance towards a perfecting of our spirit. It usually means that thereafter we stand still. - G. C. Lichtenberg

Being out of circulation in the seminary doing my own formation, I missed all the concern about self-esteem. Whatever you think about self-esteem for children or adults, I think the easier route to developing confidence and competency (which seems to be what we called those realities before they were bundled in self-esteem) are age and ability appropriate challenges that stimulate growth while avoiding empty praise. Sounds easy, I wish it were. I was a fan of the public education I received in 70's & 80's - such an awesome endeavor to try and education and form so many different individuals. It was a grand project especially when a culture tries to balance unity and diversity. We talk so much about diversity in the last 20 - 30 years, unity has been frayed as an intended or unintended consequence.

Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage. - Thomas Szasz

Not a given that bad parenting will lead to stunted children and then adults, but it is often the case. Life is surprising, sometimes inept adults can manage to raise competent and confident children. More often than not I have seen the opposite. I am not sure if the competent and confident parents were undermined by the education system, the culture or just misfortune in the mix of individuals and experience. This final quote from Heywood Broun gives me hope. While I have a fondness for the weirdos, the marginal, and the underdogs, I love all the "normies" too, each person probably has a little bag of peculiarities that they are les than public about in life. The things we share with closer friends and in more personal moments. Happy Thursday Friends! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year on this Feast of the Epiphany. 🎄

The average child is an almost non-existent myth. To be normal one must be peculiar in some way or another. - Heywood Broun

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