Someone asked me how I managed to keep my peaceful demeanor (and no, I am not going off on any “ego trip” here). I have this concept where I don’t intend on getting “frantic” over things I “can’t control.” As crazy as it sounds, if I were in a burning house, I would prefer to think “rationally” first before panicking. I have been in scary situations like riding in an air plane that had to “suddenly” swerve back up in to the sky because it wasn’t going to land right in the middle of a huge electrical storm. I have also experienced being in a train derailment (Many years ago in North Carolina between Raleigh and Vance). I also once encountered a rabid dog that was foaming at the mouth trying to attack me and I have also been “shot at.” When I was very young I ran out into the street and was nearly hit by a car. As dramatic as these experiences were, they have no bearing at all on why I view life the way I do. The one responsible for that is “my father.” You see, when I was younger, I was “very inquisitive” about a lot of things, and I loved to challenge people on just about “everything.” Each and every time I had a question or topic for my father, he “always” gave me an answer that made perfect sense. Sometimes it would get me angry, because I was just “waiting” for the opportunity to challenge him on anything he might say that I “knew” was wrong, but that moment “never” came… Whenever I questioned him about something he said, he never once told me to “just shut up and obey me.” He let me speak my piece and he ALWAYS had an appropriate response. Now, my father is 81 years old and not the knowledgeable man he used to be (but he is still sharp in a lot of ways). I thank him for instilling in me the ability to “rationalize and reason”in accordance with what I feel or know to be right. The other day I had a talk with my daughter about some new boy in her life. I know a lot of fathers who would just “say NO” for the sake of saying “no,” but I was determined NOT to be that kind of father. You see, I told my daughter that the most important thing is for her to know that she has a father that she can “always” come to “whenever” she needs to. I didn’t tell her that I hate the boy or that he needs to stay away from her. I had to come off as more of an “adviser” than an actual parent, and the reason for this is because I “remembered how my father handled me.” Some parents will continue to “behave” like parents for the lifespan of their children. What they don’t realize is that some children have to be allowed the opportunity to make their own mistakes growing up just like “we” did. No matter how much you love your kids, you should never try to live your live over “through them.” My father was instrumental in handling me, and I only hope I can be as “masterful” as he was with me and my brother when it comes to my own kids. My parents “never once” had to come down to the jailhouse to get us out of prison. We never did drugs. My parents kept me off the streets at night even though they knew we wanted to hang with the other kids late at night. It took me a long while, but after finding out what happened to a lot of those kids later on I came to realize that my parents were “right.” Control is not always a “guarantee.” Years ago I knew a church going woman who had 2 beautiful young girls. The girls were brought up in the church, and she protected and sheltered them through just about “everything.” Well, the day came when she finally had to let her girls go for their own into college. They went away out of the state, but they were “not” prepared for the outside world because they were “used” to their mother watching over them. BOTH of the kids got pregnant during their first year of college and had to drop out. What this told me at that time was that it is better for a parent to “guide” children than it is for a parent to “control” children. In other words, instead of issuing orders, it can be more beneficial to issue “guidance.” We ALL are human, and we all are prone to make mistakes, but if you can offer direction to a child then you can help that child “make better decisions” on his or her own (because I am not guaranteed to “always” be here). Life is fragile, unpredictable, and sometimes “scary.” Through the teachings of my father, I have come to realize that a “calm” demeanor will give you a much better edge than and panicked one. I also learned that it is best to give consideration to “all” possibilities and not just “go in the same direction as everyone else.” As long as I “feel good” about the person I am trying to be then I can feel good when I wake up in the morning. For me, that is the “ultimate justification.” Hope your day is special today. Have a great one.
Got a topic? You can contact me at Brettjolly@aol.com or Brett@Love-notes.co (You can also send me a friend request on Facebook or Skype (username: Brettjolly1)). Thank you and have a great day.
Legendary singer Jerry Butler and Brett Jolly in concert