A friend of mine shared this excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit. I had forgotten about this book, and I think this is a beautiful thing to share, so enjoy!
So, I am but a few short years into this whole parenting thing, but by no means an expert or veteran. I am an engaged novice at best. However, I now understand further why my parents and a lot of my friends’ parents had limited involvement and interaction with a lot of school parent groups, PTA, and so on. It’s often a no win proposition situationally.
Just like some work on the Victorian theory of children should be seen and not heard, it can also apply to the parents. Truly, it’s fascinating. To me it can be like watching humans behave like a flock of chickens.
Chickens form flocks, flocks have pecking orders. If the pecking order is ignored or feathers are ruffled, often chickens will turn on one and other. Remarkably, we will also do this to one and other as human beings. And it can be quite cruel and mean spirited.
I have now experienced marauding chickens first hand. Sadly what I have learned is just because someone is a parent, it doesn’t mean they will behave in an adult fashion.
My observations on all of this are simple: we all don’t have to be each other’s best friends and live in each other’s pockets but we are supposed to be the adults. We are supposed to (in theory) be able to tolerate and appreciate differences in others. That is something I do not find from some parents at times. I find that sad as we all share a common goal and core value of wanting the best for our kids.
I am very independent minded and unafraid to speak my mind, and always have been. I understand and appreciate that I can be considered an “acquired taste” . But I do always do my best to try to do the right thing. I respect this in others as well. But what I am learning is the path to good intentions is paved with the corpses of parents who thought they would try to help.
No school is immune to this phenomenon. Check out any school of any kind whether public, private, parochial, or whatever and you will find this flock of chickens. As long as your world view matches their world view, it’s all good. But deviate from their comfort level or even just have a differing opinion and you will discover a world of hurt. They will come at you hammer and tong. And trust me, it can be most unpleasant until you consider the source. They don’t call it bullying, but it is a form of bullying behavior in my opinion. It’s also fascinating to observe from a sociological perspective.
I will admit that for someone who was once a member of a sorority and who has headed up non-profit volunteer committees I am not much of a joiner. I was as a high school kid also not part of particular cliques or social circles. I enjoyed many different friends from many different groups and I am still very much that way today. But independence like this is often very threatening to others.
With my 50th birthday came the renewed and self-inflicted wisdom that we should learn that sometimes tilting at windmills can be a fruitless proposition. But maintaining your independence and standing up for what you believe in shouldn’t have to resemble tilting at windmills either, should it? Yet sometimes it feels that way doesn’t it?
People will often fear and judge what they do not know or understand. I have been guilty of that in the past as it is simply put, human nature. But as a parent when I see this it makes me sad. But now as a parent the positive is I can gain perspective if I am open to it.
We are all supposed to have common core values of wanting the best for our kids. So why is it some parents need to decimate other adults to attain this goal? How is it we are supposed to teach our kids to be better human beings when by our very example we are doing what we don’t want them to do?
But back to the theory of humans as flocks of chickens. We should be better than pecking farm birds, shouldn’t we? (And I say this as someone who actually really likes chickens!)
Navigating parenthood is a tricky proposition. I am learning something new every day. I just wish more of these adults, these parents, could be more open to learning at times. We all can’t be perfect, and we come to the table with different life experiences. I guess it is what we do with those experiences that matter, right? We should NOT expect everyone we meet to be cookie cutter images of us, should we? Wouldn’t that make us all Stepford Wives on this life bus if so?
I endeavor to try to learn and go forward a better human being. I am not perfect. But I do try to do the right thing. And I am reminded again that I can only be responsible for my own behavior and actions.
Thanks for stopping by.