Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a family.
This family, a typical American family, consisted of a mom, a dad, two boys, and a girl. They were the picture of happiness and the envy of their neighbors until one day, to the surprise of all who knew them, the mom and dad decided they couldn’t stand the sight of each other any more and filed for divorce.
It was a very nasty divorce and not something worthy of further thought. Instead, we should focus on the children, ages 2, 4, and 6.
The upheaval to their lives was immediate and confusing. Instead of the safe haven of a loving home, they had to learn how to split their loyalties between the two warring sides. Nothing good could be said about mom while with dad, and the subject of dad was taboo in mom’s presence.
Friends and relatives were horrified. Trying their best to soften the blow to the children they showered them with gifts and coddled them. They threw them fantastic birthday parties, supplied them with all the latest gadgets, and whisked every obstacle away before it could cause anguish to the poor little dears.
The parents, conscious of their guilt, also did everything in their power to lighten the heavy load of divorce they had created. The children enjoyed the most lenient style of parenting, always getting to watch their favorite shows and eat their favorite foods. Their clothing was washed and folded for them, their lunches made, and allowances provided.
All in all, it was a very cushy life and the children lacked for nothing. Or so it seemed until they grew to adulthood.
Because now that the children are all well out of their teens it is obvious that among the gigantic piles of presents that always overwhelmed the children at every gift giving event, the most precious gifts of all–independence and selflessness–were never given.
So now, because of the coddling of the past, these young adults are going to have a monumental struggle ahead of them. They must learn the hard lessons that most of us learn as a child.
The only way to succeed is to risk failure. Again, and again.
Being self-absorbed is a short road to depression and unhappiness, and the only way off that road is to think of others first.
The world does not owe anybody anything, instead, we owe our best efforts to the world.
And now that these children are no longer children but adults, the sooner they break free of those old entitlement thoughts that have them bound and gagged, the better. They are all grown up now and it is time for them to act like it.
Come on you three, you can do it! Stand on your own two feet and take that first tentative step.
If you stumble and fall, good. It is all a part of learning. Just get back up and try again. It is how we grow and learn. It will make you tough.
Besides, who’s afraid of a few bumps and bruises?