Heard a funny story the other day. There was a child in one family that was always late for school. One day his mom, instead of the usual scolding, blowing up or bribing him, said: “My car is leaving at 7:30. If you get in – fine, if you don’t – fine”. That’s all she said. At 7:29 she was at the wheel waiting and her son was just out of bed, in his pajamas.
When he saw her start the car he rushed outside grabbing his books, and he made it on time – still in his pajamas. Mom didn’t turn the car back – they went straight to school. She dropped him off and went to work. The next morning she found him sleeping in his uniform ready to go. No more problems with being late for school.
For many people it would seem cruel. However teaching the child that I always mean what I say is the key to winning his trust. It’s cruel NOT to teach him that you can be trusted. It’s cruel NOT to let him feel from early on the natural consequences of his actions. It’s cruel NOT to make him responsible for what he does thus creating a false impression that he or she does things for mom and dad and not for himself. Continue reading A funny story
When you think about your relationships with your kids one thing is quite clear – if you wish to be their friend, they have to choose you for a friend. Unlike parents, friends are chosen. And this has to be a free choice, with no compulsion, coercion or manipulation. Such is the nature of friendship – we choose a friend not because we have to, or we feel some sort of obligation, but because his person, the content of his soul, resonates with our hearts and minds.
The only basis for true friendship is this resonance of soul content between two or more people. Friendship is only possible if the other person’s inner world is compelling for you in and of itself. It’s true that my children are 100% dependent on me, and I could have forced them to “be my friends.” But that’s not what I want. I am not interested in a “mutually beneficial” relationship with them. I don’t want to say: “Be my friend, or you will regret it.” Friendship is the opposite of dependence.
When relationships are based on mutual benefit they are not based on friendship. Think about it: any other type of connection between people – whether blood relation, marriage, work or civil duties – implies an obligation of some kind. Friendship does not – because its key element is to be able to freely choose the other person’s soul content as a thing to treasure, without any outside coercion. This choice “happens” instantly when you find the other person’s inner world resonating with yours. So friendship, unlike any other relationship, is not based on anything earthly, psychological or material. Its nature is otherworldly, it is from the realm of the Spirit. Continue reading Ode to Friendship