Be the Better

October 27, 2015


After extensive field research done over the course of many years, I’ve discovered a very important scientific truth:  parenting is not for wusses.

Neither is wife-ing / husband-ing.

Neither is being a kid or an employee or an employer or a human being on this planet called earth doing this thing called life, which, according to The Artist Formerly and Again (I Believe) Currently Known As Prince and No Longer Merely An Unpronounceable Symbol, is ‘electric’ and ‘means forever,’ and I am inclined to agree with him on both counts.

One of our littles has been exposed at a rather young age to the unfortunate reality that some people are just twerps. Seriously. There should be an island somewhere for the whole lot of them.  I’m not talking about people who disagree with you politically or who have opposite ideas from you on what are Acceptable Levels of Personal Hygiene.

I’m talking about people who lead you on and make you believe you they are your friend and then go do some 180-degree different thing than what an actual friend would do, like, say, stab you in the back with another friend.

Isn’t that sort of thing supposed to be relegated to John Hughes films – let’s all pause for a minute to celebrate the greatness of Can’t Buy Me Love, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink, Mr. Mom (O.K. so there are no viciously mean kids in that one, but it’s still a g.r.e.a.t. f.i.l.m. worth celebrating) – and to canned-laughter sitcoms?  Why does it have to rear its ugly face in elementary school?!

It has all led to some big talks around our house about what it means to be and friend and what kind of friend is actually worth having.  And I don’t really have time to flesh all this out because I have to go hoof it to carpool, but I wanted to put this basic thought out there because maybe just maybe it will help one of you precious readers either for you personally (even as an adult) or for one of your kiddos.

We’ve talked about what it looks like not just to wish that the world were better or to wish that a particular friendship were easier or better or even to wish that a particular friend were better but rather to BE the better. 

Be the better friend.

Be the better person than you could be when you see someone who needs help after falling or after hearing hard news or after saying a hard goodbye.

Be the better worker, not so that you can show up others around you but so that you can set an example that just might lead to everyone around you being better workers, too.

Be the better leader when you bemoan the fact that the so-called leaders you see around you are really just acting like louses.

Be the better spouse – not seeking to be better than your own spouse but to be better than you would be if you didn’t really try.

Be the better listener than what most in the world offer since most in the world ‘listen’ only as they are waiting for their next opportunity to speak.

Be the better cheerleader for someone’s victories, big and small, because the silence this world offers sometimes on accomplishments that really matter to us can be deafening … or defeating.

Be the better example for someone who just really needs a good one.

So much more to say, but I am going to stop now so that I can be the better mama than I would be if I showed up late for carpool.



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