How do I treat so-called “criminals” ?
How do I treat so-called “non-criminals” ?
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things,*(or “cultivate lofty ideas”) but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes.
17 Return evil for evil to no one.Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of*(or “in the sight of”) all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. (Romans 12:15-18)
Thanks:) for making my post a part of Your day. Yes, I am a Mother…of four offspring…specifically teenagers! Some musings to follow. (My time constraints–today–do not allow for me to give the necessary attention/focus to writing all of these musings swirling in my mind. I may or may not turn this post into a series of connected content.)
From my limited-personal-point-of-view: it seems a lot of us, Earthlings, like to label/identify ourselves by our higher and/or highest values of which we feel proud…(parents or not or mature or not/younger and older alike). The parenting project/my particular parenting project is a shared endeavor with my husband of 27 years (we became parents by surprise about 8 years in)…an/one important work of mine in progress which initially seemed entailed 20 years…on average?! is one I DO NOT WANT TO FAIL!;(
Like any on the job training (kind of) position…there is learning curve and ups and downs, eh? The first kid is the guinea pig. I was the guinea pig in my family. What has helped guide this daunting process, for me, has been timeless and relevant ancient wisdom (e.g., Biblical).
In some ways, these are abnormal times in which we all live with normal parenting concerns/anxieties…aka trying to survive/thrive..do your best with what you got to work with. Do abnormal times call for unconventional or conventional parenting skills??…the parenting plan/purpose–well-adjusted, healthy-well-functioning physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually high-functioning mature, superlatively-educated, selfless, interdependent adult whom will contribute positively to community/society/brotherhood of humanity…may take longer than 20 years..eh?!;)
Seriously, at 49 years, i still have lots to learn…as Mother, Wife, Friend, Human, (etc. the uncapitalized..(pun? intended))…whatever other label(s) suit(?) me. My clothing of choice is agape love…as well as trying to dress in mildness and humility, meekness and self-control. (Writings, interactions and communications with kids and adults is like weather! You/One can be the hurricane, tornado, windstorm, rainstorm, dark cloud or ray of sunshine, rainbow, cool breeze, gentle/refreshing dew drop.)
the Doo-Wop…music to any situation…or writing…we all can add love.:) Musical tastes differ…as well as parenting styles.
IDK, may be? we all need a “monotone” message of “love” to keep humanity on happy track.
Is parenting more effective when it/(the process) is a selfless-labor-of-love?!…and not excluding tough love neither.
At times–it’s quite difficult to put your own feelings/preferences aside–as Mother–in pursuit of best interests for my child. To be an effective/good? mother means i need to be less selfish. My kids’ need to learn/grow…and say about environment/ecosystem here in Florida. I hate snakes, my kids don’t. Will i allow my hate for snakes to override/ruin their relationship with snakes?
My peculiar set of worries/anxieties…of course, the parenting course…have impacted my teens. Am trying to keep it to a minimum. Striking the balance of helping them be aware of danger of i.e. snakes (including more important concerns)…respecting…snakes, life, love, family, community…choices and consequences, etc. both positives and negatives..at the same time acknowledging, we, parents cannot take (a) kid(s) and drop him/her off at the ocean without any preparation or swimming lessons…and expect them to float and not drown nor be eaten/bitten by sharks!!
So many (mind boggling?) variables can shape our parenting styles. I tend to declutter or edit (meaning i despise complicated so-called solutions to simple problems)…living and parenting, to me, boils down to learning (simply?!;)) to be less selfish everyday! When each of us, parent and child, learn to put others’ interests ahead of our own…we tend to make wiser-longer-sighted-positive choices…that benefit more than self…in the moment. (A life time is more than moments…or more moments make up a life span.)
As a spiritually-minded parent, I have always tried putting spiritual things/endeavors first…meaning also: have attempted to instill “spiritual” over material values in my kids…this excerpted reading explains some of my reasons why much better than i can articulate:
17. Why is the life of those who make no room for the Creator not truly meaningful?
17 Contrast this with what people have who, even though not being morally corrupt, make no room for the Creator in their lives. They may have the honor and the material possessions that they desire, perhaps find a measure of satisfaction in helping the needy and enjoy cultural activities and wholesome pleasures. Yet, they must admit the inescapable fact that nothing in this world has any real permanence. No one is immune to accidents, disease or death. Possessions will neither protect against these things nor can they be taken along when life ends. (Psalm 49:6-20; Ecclesiastes 5:13-15; 8:8) Well-meaning efforts to help fellow humans may come to frustration because of unfavorable circumstances. So it might well be asked: How meaningful can a life be if the ultimate future it offers is just the grave? How can it be good if it actually works against a person’s eternal future?—Compare Ecclesiastes 1:11, 15, 18; 2:10, 11; 9:11, 12. [excerpted reading: Making the Right Choice: Choosing the Best Way of Life, Chapter 1, pp. 11-12]
Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility*(or lowliness of mind) consider others superior to you, 4 as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3, 4)
Questions for reflections:
as parent, partner, friend, fellow-breathing-fragile-life aka human:
am i contentious or egotistical?
am i humble?
am i willing to learn from Others (including younger life and older life)…meaning do i have the mindset that Others are superior to me?
am i just looking out for my own best interests?
am i looking out for the best interests of Others?
how will being less selfish help…any/all situations/interactions/communications/relationships/circumstances??
Does pursuing peace mean breaking up fights?? Or getting involved in fights (i.e. political, controversial or other)?
Which fights? Who defines “fight” ? A “cause” and/or causes worthy of battle/engagement/time/energy/life/interference?!…carnal, psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual, physical…war?
I am no one to beep!…meaning i VERY rarely use my car horn, and any usage is quite judiciously at that. Perhaps, it’s been YEARS (?)..since, well, other than on this past Tuesday afternoon. Today is Thursday, November 1st.
What would You do?…IF…
you’re peacefully, (semi-quietly) alone for approximately 10 minutes (waiting/sitting/meditating/listening to Vivaldi) in your car at the corner of Street X and Street Y–a couple feet before stop sign in the shade–with left-side view of Main Z Street…first come the bikers…aka middle school kids w/stuffed back packs just let out of school-jail wildly racing homeward down popular/well-traveled side-street used by some to get home faster by avoiding Main Z Street traffic.
The usual pattern routine…first come bikers, loners, then first set of walkers, then next wave of walkers including my daughter and her friend…whom i transport home most afternoons. This Tuesday was different. After bikers…i hear a ROAR of a crowd…thought, wow, kids are much more noisier today, eh?
Looked up and to the left…yep, two boys (surrounded/encircled by big bunch of onlookers) going at it…fighting…fisticuffs!! They are simultaneously trying to rip each other’s t-shirts off…(pourquoi? who knows?) the fight has moved into the middle of Street Y…looks like a huge curious crowd of cockroaches has swarmed. Approximately 40-50 kids; mostly in the street and some on both sidewalks.Within seconds more kids are joining in…and the spectator swarm swells.
I eye my daughter and her friend stopped on side-walk checking out the fight. Immediately beep 2-3 short beeps to get her attention to no avail! At that moment, i notice one prevailing-fighter kid looking like he’s trying his best to pound/smash the non-prevailing kid’s head to the concrete.
Uh-OH…head injuries can be serious/fatal…stupid? kids. Immediately and instinctually, i calmly drive toward crowd in middle of street laying l-o-n-g on my extra LOUD horn without any let-up!! They one and all–at once–disperse and disengage including fighting boys. They take off running and scattering to sidewalks and begin leaving the scene. I roll down my window and assertively/firmly tell my daughter to get in! now.
She calls to her friend to get in our car…as i hear another friend cheering and yelling, “A.’s Mom to the Rescue!”:)
My daughter’s friend is smiling and they (my daughter and friend) laughingly cannot believe I just broke up the fight…with a beep. I didn’t get involved in the fight; which was not my fight; didn’t personally yell at the kids nor pick sides yet handled the situation…before it got too too out of hand…and with the long beep/loud horn strategy managed getting about 50 kids to leave scene and go home before anyone got seriously injured.
Hope they all made it home okay. Hope the fighting is finished.
It came naturally—didn’t think twice—about the horn or driving carefully straight toward crowd in middle of road nor not leaving my vehicle. Before responsible-mature-logical adult action–I had a quick/passing thought about calling police. But by the time they would arrive, fighting kid(s) probably would be quite hurt and all of the kids in needless trouble. It just seemed like involving the authorities would make matters worse. And before those thoughts quickly left my mind–I was already driving and laying on horn. The road easily cleared. We safely road down Street Y…cause
Like someone grabbing hold of a dog’s ears
Is the one passing by who becomes furious about*(or who possibly meddles in) a quarrel that is not his. PROverb 26:17
Interesting commentary (for Youths & Adults alike) on this intriguingly-wise Biblical Proverb:
What would happen if you grabbed hold of the ears of a dog? It would hurt the dog, and he would snap at you, wouldn’t he? The more the dog tried to get loose, the harder you would have to hold on to the ears and the more excited the dog would get. If you let him go, he would probably bite you hard. But can you just stand there and hold his ears forever?—
Well, that is the kind of trouble that we would be in if we got mixed up in a fight between other people. We may not know who started the fight or why they are fighting. One person may be getting beaten up, but perhaps he stole something from the other one. If we helped him, we would be helping a thief. That would not be good, would it?
So, what should you do if you see a fight?— If it is at school, you can run and tell a teacher. And if it is away from school, you can call one of your parents or a policeman. Yes, even when other people want to fight, we should be peaceable. [Is It Right to Fight? Learn From the Great Teacher, Chapter 19, p. 106]
my daily intention: pursue peace with all people (younger & older)…while remaining politically neutral at all times.
Golden Anniversary Fun:)
When You are married for 50 years,
are You deserving of Gold Stars & 2 Cakes??:)
1 Marble & 1 Red Velvet… a Yummy Uh-Huh:)
And water to wash it down
(for us non-drinkers, huh?)
Congrats chair(s)… Cheers for my Parents:)…on Friday, our immediate Florida Family, celebrated, in our backyard, a Very Positive Example of Loyal Love.
Wow! 50 Years… sounds like an “institution” lol:)
(My parents are practical, modest/moderate people and not into a showy, elaborate fuss.)(They are very grateful, content, and happy with hand-made gifts and kids’ artwork and Chato’s delicious home cooking!) So sharing this accomplishment of theirs (with God’s help, of course) is a teaching tool really… honoring my parents (the/my intent is not bragging).
Ma’s favorite color is Yellow and she loves Red Velvet cake. Daddy says (seriously) how i (firstborn child) changed/impacted his life for the better. (As a parent, I feel that way myself. my kids have taught me a lot! “Hopefully” am a better person for it… probably, will always be working on patience (and other stuff, eh?) My kids have been some of my best teachers.:)
Nowadays, kids/teens/young ones…all of us can learn from those who wisely keep their promises, huh?:) And from those who appreciate spiritual treasures over material ones (and people over possessions)! 50 Years of truth telling/living and forgiving though imperfectly… marital relationships/families function– work when each one applies Biblical Truth/Counsel for each Mate/Family member: 1 of many life (enduring) lessons my parents have taught me.
Ever Grateful for my Parents and the GIFT of life!!:)
“Who is wise and understanding among You? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with mildness that comes from wisdom. But If you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness, there will be also disorder and every vile thing. But wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy, and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.” (James 3:17, 18)
My youngest daughter likes this song…it is post appropriate and popped in my mind. My favorite line “barefoot on the grass”…(read/spoken with accent:))
yep, we are all “barefoot on the grass”…life…at the mercy of chance sometimes and at the mercy of choice sometimes…and at the mercy of mowers most times (as Fragile-Life)?…
Does choosing Agape Love…make my chances better?!…You Betcha. 🙂