“I Want To Thank My Mother and My Father …”

proud mom

Happy Friday, All!

It is definitely in order for me today … this whole week … my whole life … T.G.I.F.!!! It’s been one of those weeks … though it actually started last weekend as I was trying to figure some things out with my finances, with an “ex” I was attempting to help and my own self-esteem. There were a couple of moments when I just wanted to talk to my Mother … I was actually looking around in the air for a sign … for a message … how should I handle the circumstances that I was in?! As I listened in meditations, I heard them BOTH say, “Make us proud son, make us proud!” I decided to do so … ‘nough said.

Where do we each get our values? How do we learn what is important to us? Is it trial and error? Is it, “Somebody told me!”? Is it, “I like doing this and it makes me feel good inside!” Or perhaps, “I am so special, I can do anything I want. I’ll figure the rest out later!” One of the things that has always intrigued me academically has been just this – where do we all get our personalities from? Are we born with it? Are we taught to be who we are, as many “socialization” theories suggest, learning our role from our role models … our parents?! Perhaps we have selected super heroes in our lives … The most beautiful actress or the wealthiest rap star … maybe the most ingenious entrepreneur?!?! Why do we want to be like “them” … someone else … and NOT ourselves?!? Can we each learn how to formulate that daily adventure of “defining ourselves”?

The verdict has been handed down in the Pistorius case where the “Blade Runner” was not found guilty of pre-meditated murder but still faces lesser charges involving his negligence in his behavior that early morning that Reeva Steenkamp was shot through the bedroom’s bathroom door … and killed. Would his parents be proud of this? How about Ray Rice and his wife Janay?!? After viewing the videotape for the second time and noticing the spitting that was taking place between the two … I mean … I’ve gotten angry a few times like it appears they BOTH were … but … I never “cold-cocked” a woman like that because she spit at or on me!!! In observing their behavior during their walk onto the “domestic violence” – trap of an elevator, and with Ray Rice’s gait as he followed her onto the elevator … waiting to spit in her face as she was trapped in the elevator, I could see that he was “setting her up” for something dastardly. Damn, Man!

Okay, okay … so this is what I am saying. Over the years, I have learned to ask myself over and over, “Would what I am about to do (or did!) make my parents proud of me?” Now, I also have some dear friends … Karen and Steve Bozzone … who let me stay with them some years ago while in the throes of battling one of my demons. They were very patient with me … they trusted me … they gave me a reason to at least think, “Would they be proud of me if I do this?” Nowadays, I have internalized a mechanism that keeps me on the “up and up”, humble, happy, honest … yes, and simple! All the complications that surround circumstances when “people become other people … act like other people” and avoid being “themselves”, usually ends up way more intrinsically dysfunctional (not achieving ones goals) than originally planned. I hope you get this … If not, shoot me a line or two! Let’s chat!

“Be yourself, because You are YOU!” – John I. Cook, St. Paul’s School Yearbook, June 1972


John I. Cook

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