Are We Listening?

As a parent, I want to save my daughter from as much heartache and self inflicted embarrassment as possible.  I attempt to relay my own positive and negative experiences I had while stumbling through life learning the hard way so many things either no one told/advised me about and/or I wasn’t listening anyway.  Having an eleven year old daughter who gets really bored with my advice, I reflect back on my days as an eleven year old.

I never wanted to listen to anything that contradicted what I wanted to do.  I didn’t care to be obedient to my parents.  I always did what I wanted, no matter the consequences.  The long, scary and boring lectures of the how and why something I did was wrong never really corrected me.  It didn’t matter how much trouble I got myself into, at the end of it all I usually did it again, perhaps a little smarter and better.  The consequences of course, always came around to slap me in the face.  I caused myself a lot of unnecessary pain, embarrassment, turmoil, trouble and resentment.

Now that I am the parent of a child who is for the most part, a really good kid, I find that the times I am attempting to help her avoid the social embarrassments of mistakes and patterns of behavior generated from ignorance, I am met with the same indifference I once gave and still give at times to everyone.  It is, as I have found, a very disappointing and saddening feeling to be on the receiving end of such indifference from my own child.  She says she understands and says all that she thinks I want to hear, yet I can plainly see that she really doesn’t care to hear what advice I am giving her and why.

So this brings me to the question about myself, “Am I listening to others and setting the right example for my daughter to learn by?”  I as an individual, can only see a fraction of my true self in the practice of interacting with the world around me.  A plain and simple fact that took me way too long to realize.  I have this mental picture of myself being a prime adherent to the principles and philosophies I believe in.  When in reality, I fall very short of the standards I claim to uphold. From the way I act when I’m alone to how I talk to the people who interact with me the most.

So I focus on working on myself to prayerfully see where and how I must improve in order to  be the man I want to be – upholding the principles and philosophies I believe in. Daily, GOD answers my prayers to help me see where I fall short in order to help me become the man He wants me to be: a man who serves Him faithfully and does His will to reach others with my testimony of how He changed my life from the reckless, careless and self-destructive young man I once was.

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