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Mom lessons…

13 Dec

Recently, it seems like every discussion ends up with someone being upset over other people being politically correct, negative, mean, when someone else disagrees.  Then they call for more positive and less of the negative.

I think we can all do better at looking in our personal mirrors, and here’s why…

My mom is old, very old.  She’s at the very end of her life.  A while ago, when she was recovering in a facility after her latest challenge, on pain meds, she said something that lumped together everyone in a specific segment of the population.  I know I inwardly cringed, but wasn’t going to say anything because at this point in her life, she gets a pass from me because I know what she really believes.  I don’t even remember what she said, I only remember what she did after.  Even on strong pain meds and still in excruciating pain – she looked in her own personal mirror and immediately said; I was wrong to say that.  I didn’t think I was prejudiced, but I guess I am, and that’s not right.  I shouldn’t be that way, I know better.

If mom can look into her own personal mirror, in pain, on pain meds, and see that whatever old stereotype it was that she’d said from depression era thinking, was wrong, untrue, and hurtful to others – everyone else can too.  Mom can do it at a time in her life I just described, and, while her mind is loosing its sharpness a little bit more everyday.

Mom also wasn’t shy about disagreeing with someone else.  I’ll never forget the day one of mom’s friend (also an adoptive mom) was sitting at the kitchen table telling us that she was cutting her son out of her will.  She said she was doing it because he’d made contact with his family by birth and was spending time with them.  Mom didn’t raise her voice, but she told her bluntly what she was doing wrong.  She defended her friend’s son, tried every which way she could think of to get her friend to understand why her son needed to reconnect, how it didn’t have anything to do with her or her husband and their relationship with him.  That what she was doing was wrong and that everyone would be irrevocably harmed, that one day she’d be sorry.  I don’t think mom words made a difference to her friends attitude that day.  I do know that mom stood up for what she believed was right.

Mom’s not perfect.  Dad wasn’t perfect.  I’m not perfect.  Mom and dad taught all of us that no one is perfect, it’s what you do after you recognise you were wrong.  I’m still learning.  I still get embarrassed when I’m wrong.  Am I as quick to recognise when I was wrong as mom is?  Probably not.  What I won’t do is take that embarrassment on causing someone else pain, turn it around and blame others for being too politically correct, and tell them they are being too sensitive, or negative.  I will mull over their words and eventually consider if I was the one in the wrong, if yes, I will try to learn to do better, be better.

 

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10 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2015 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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10 responses to “Mom lessons…

  1. pj

    December 13, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Beautiful and such a meaningful post. Thank You!

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    • TAO

      December 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks PJ

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      • pj

        December 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

        Wish my adoptive mom was still alive now that I’m in my 50’s-was only 39 when she passed away- before my successful bio family search and finding self…wish she could see me learning and trying to “do better”.

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        • TAO

          December 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm

          Hugs, and the holidays can be tough…

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          • pj

            December 15, 2015 at 2:34 pm

            Thanks, Tao ! I’ve always disliked when people ask if I’m “ready for Christmas”. It just struck me that I’ll never be “ready for Christmas” !

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  2. cb

    December 14, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Beautifully said.

    In regards to the last bit:
    “Mom’s not perfect. Dad wasn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. Mom and dad taught all of us that no one is perfect, it’s what you do after you recognise you were wrong. I’m still learning. I still get embarrassed when I’m wrong. Am I as quick to recognise when I was wrong as mom is? Probably not. What I won’t do is take that embarrassment on causing someone else pain, turn it around and blame others for being too politically correct, and tell them they are being too sensitive, or negative. I will mull over their words and eventually consider if I was the one in the wrong, if yes, I will try to learn to do better, be better.”

    About 5 years ago about 8 months after I joined a mixed (non-FB) adoption forum, I once started a thread right before I went away on holidays (to where I live now actually) so it is was 24 hours before I read the replies. When I did check in, there were over 100 replies and quite a large number of them were very upset at what I’d written. Even though my intent was good, the impact wasn’t so I reread what I had written and realised that I had indeed phrased things very badly and realised the best thing to do was to apologise for that. I was in the wrong and it helped me to be more careful about the words I used. In a way being on a forum where one is the minority does help one to realise how careful one has to be with one’s words – if one is the majority, then one can too often be enabled by one’s supporters – how often does one hear someone say “I must be in the right, I’ve had 1000 people send me PMs or “like” my comment”. That’s not how it works.

    Back to the present, it makes it very hard to even have a conversation when one is told that one is being PC or overly sensitive. Note that only the majority with the power tend to accuse others of being PC.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      December 14, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      All so very true…

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  3. cb

    December 14, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    In regards to negativity, I know that if I want to do something big, especially if it is likely to affect others, I want to make sure that I read everything about it, good and bad. I’ve learnt my lessons in the past from rushing into things (eg almost bought a house in the UK which would have been a disaster at the time).

    Even with things like holidays, I like to read TripAdvisor and read the negative and positive comments – the negatives ones don’t always turn me away from the place or hotel but instead might help clarify the next steps to take.

    When it comes to things that involve other people, hearing the flip side might help me think “well if I do take this step, I want to do this as ethically as possible so I will research the best ways to make sure that everyone is treated well in the process”.

    Of course, negativity can also be relative depending on whose listening. For example if one is being complimented by another person, even if that other person is trashing other people, one might consider the person to be complimenting one to be positive thinking. On other hand, if another person is not actually being negative per se but refusing to actively make one feel good about the steps one is taking, then one might consider those people to be negative.

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  4. Jess

    December 15, 2015 at 4:22 am

    I love this, Tao.

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    • TAO

      December 15, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks Jess

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