Crushing Your Children

Daily Meditation #295–12/14/2022



Each year I get the pleasure of staffing a booth for my career as a Realtor at the local county fair.

I see and interact with probably 1,000 or more people during these weekends. It is energizing.

However, something I used to see every year without fail is as follows:

We offered free helium balloons for kiddos as well as “Plink-O” and various raffles for adults.

Child sees free balloons and a free game, and tugs at mom or dad or grandparent, “Bawoon! Can I get a bawoon?”

Then the parent almost always sighs, rolls their eyes and says with a near tone of derision, “No…sweetheart, we don’t have time for that,” or more common, “I don’t feel like putting up with that. You’ll lose it and have a fit.

 — — — 

Why would we put our children through this?
Is it truly the end of the world to have a moment to teach some responsibility — “Okay, we will get the balloon, but you must take care of it. Do you understand? You are responsible for it.”

But here’s the greater question:

If we are unwilling to grant our own flesh-and-blood offspring this small boon on a national holiday knowing it will bring them untold joy…
…What joys are we denying ourselves? Our our own inner child?

When it snows but we’re running late, do we miss the way the sun sparkles off the fresh layer of powder like we are a giant surrounded by tiny paparazzi?

If we are out to eat and see they offer tiramisu and remember “Boy — my great-grandma used to make great tiramisu. I haven’t had it since she died when I was 10,” do we deny ourselves the small pleasure of the taste and all the fond memories it will bring?

We are hopelessly nearsighted and cruel, especially to ourselves, over small joys like these.

Losing sight of the grand scheme of life — and just how damn short and unpredictable it is — what little things are you rejecting?
What childlike moments of inner warmth are you denying?

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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