Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Benefits of Imperfection

I remember when my first child was born. He was so perfect, so tiny, so vulnerable, and he needed me 100%. Now look at him - an enormous eighteen-year-old with talents, brilliance, geeky charm and a whole range of complications that I certainly never planned for him. There's a huge desire when we are parents to control our children's lives so that they will never have to deal with fear, pain, disappointment, unfairness, or any of the other scratchy problems that this world offers us from day to day.

Unfortunately, that's life. It's part of the human experience. It's not possible to avoid it, and if it were it's surely not desirable. Our capacity for happiness is deepened by our capacity for sorrow. Our empathy for others comes from an understanding of what it means to suffer. Without experience of disappointment, triumph is a shallow thing. Every child has a journey to go on, and as parents and educators we need to be able to celebrate the milestones of these developing minds as they learn to tackle life with all their emotions engaged. Learning to negotiate the rapids now will give them tools and strength to cope with the avalanches and earthquakes that are inevitably going to shake them up later in life.

Click here for a great article, and wonderful food for thought. Enjoy the read!

1 comment:

  1. A wonderfully moving essay; I'm going to stop bathing my child in Purell and bleaching the cats' paws.