Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Things To Tell Your Children
Don't listen to anyone who tells you they know what you're going through. They don't. They might know the world, but it's their world not yours. And this, this is your world.
Your parents were teenagers once. They did stupid stuff too. Your parents got drunk. They got hangovers. They explored the boundaries. They've definitely had sex at least once. Your parents probably had that run-in with the police. If they didn't they are either liars or very boring. Or very very smart, and didn't get caught. Your parents have been heartbroken. They have been in, or seen, or run away from drunken fights. Your parents have had a wank. Your parents have probably been fired. Your parents have had too much month left at the end of their money. They've had to pull together meals out of leftovers. They've had to bite their tongue when surrounded by morons. They were younger once. They also saw the world as a crazed place without justice, or fairness.
Your parents definitely slept with the kind of boy or girl they didn't want to introduce to your grandparents. Your parents probably once were that boy or girl.
No, you didn't ask to be born. Neither were we. We, your parents, are like you, trapped in a world that is often confusing, always unfair, and difficult. Parents don't always know their place in the world either. We, if we are lucky, have managed to make a living out of it, but this life isn't turning out quite the way we want it to either.
Your parents are disappointed too. We didn't get to cure poverty or ease a lot of society's problems. We've spent most of our lives managing to get by, just about.
Yes, we know that life sucks. We know that you want a different world. So do we.
We're oppressing you because we care. It doesn't feel like it, but we do. We know. We've made mistakes and learnt lessons. You'll learn them too. But if one of our lessons and mistakes can save you a painful experience, we'd rather do it that way.
We've been divorced, heartbroken, ripped off. Stolen from, arrested, assualted. All of these things and more. We can see the signs. Nobody should have to go through the things we did. But you won't listen to us. And it will happen to you. Your parents so desperately want to be wrong about this.
Life is unfair. We didn't make the world this way.
Your life is in many ways tougher than ours. It's easier as well. Lives are difficult in different ways.
But your parents have seen it all before. Don't be scared of us. We love you. And I know it's uncool. But we understand. We'd rather know than not. We've been there before. Made all those mistakes ourselves. We know this world is made of faults. And we love being alive here. Yes, it's an imperfect world. We tried our best. Now it's your turn.
“The optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true.”