|Between Me and You (12/20/2012)
By Jonathan Berman
Preface: This is a Note I wrote this week, carrying my heart and mind, some thoughts on being a parent, on being a child, on caring for another simply as a human being without personal emotional manipulation or expectation... I wonder if people will grasp what I am saying here, or if they cannot hear through the wind of their own mind to listen?
I've learned bringing a child into this world is easy to do, respect is earned, not by having a child, but by being an actual parent... I don't expect a parent to be perfect, having a child doesn't make you infallible, or teach you how to love, but the effort should be there, responsibility is in the hands of the parent, not the child. Not all parents are capable of being good parents let alone good people.
I have no more illusions, life's too short to pine over those who aren't up to the task, nor do I believe a child should unconditionally honor a parent, not unless that parent unconditionally loves the child they brought into the world. I believe all relationships must be two way streets. We can be kind because we are kind, we treat those who betray us with love because we are lovers. Don't waste your time on anger over those who have wronged you, but pray for their enlightenment that they become free of suffering. I try to treat everyone I come into contact with patience, compassion, kindness and understanding, because I know what it's like to live without them. And it doesn't take much to win me over absolutely, my friends know I am loyal, loving, generous and kind, sharing jokes and joy and what I earn to see to their happiness as much is my own.
We all must walk our own path, but we must never forget we are in this world together, each another's aspect, giving or needing love, those who reach out are never alone. Family, friend, stranger or guide, in the heart of compassion none are denied. Aristotle once said the unexamined life is not worth living. Examine in one hand what the eye looks upon with love, always.
My blood father my blood mother, they are not infallible. They, like me, eek out their lives the best they know how. Stumbling towards something they cannot explain, truth defies definitions, yet our hearts understand. Some day they will be gone, and I have a feeling I will be left thinking, they never really knew me, did they take the time? Do we ever? So I try my best, I initiate the best that I can, to send a little boat across that water of loneliness and the abyss, in the end all i can have is peace in knowing that I tried.
Perhaps the world is not ready for love. Love challenges us at our core. It holds up an empty mirror so we can be free of our illusions, we have forgotten what it is for. Our children should go ahead of us, we should teach them and learn from them, not fight them in a battle of wills, or it is our loss, chained to the anchor of pettiness. We must rise above it. Or we are already lost.
So fight! Fight! Fight against that downhill slope of apathy. We are discouraged by this world to be empowered. At every turn we are told to be ashamed of our bodies, our passions. To set our loves aside for some modicum of success. The world is not on your side. But I am. Always. I don't write this because I think you care, I write it because I do.