Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Road of Good Intentions

My Free Will Baptist preacher grandfather used to say, often, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Even though I'm pretty much a confirmed no-hell-er (or I guess I believe that people make their own little hells here that any larger hell would pale beside of), I agree.

I also believe that your intention in doing something or not doing something is hugely important. Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is . . . doing the right thing for the wrong reason: It is not doing the right thing. Oh, but I don't really mean to get into a discussion of what I believe and don't believe. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Still, I wanted to pile on and say, "What she said!" Geez, Louise. I've seen first hand too many examples myself. Got the big guns called in one time on another blog because I dared say that I didn't think letting your kid's teeth rot out was an example of exceptional parenting (I actually had the gall to call it neglectful).

The things we have valued in our journey have certainly included freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility -- freedom simply doesn't exist without responsibility. Choice doesn't exist without consequence. We've also valued politeness, kindness, thoughtfulness, and oh yes cleverness. Cleverness is highly valued here. Ok, and hard work too, and work on things that don't just benefit the doer -- one might consider it communality if it weren't that it is family. Expectations do exist but are always negotiable in their specifics.

Kids have parents because kids need parents. There are things that are simply inappropriate.

I suppose what we've tried to instill in the kids is an ability to internally validate themselves so that they aren't so easily swayed by fashion or external pressure. Discernment.

3 comments: said...

I so 100% agree with you.

annettelikesrain said...

That's advice she'd likely get from some horribly sheltered classmate... not someone who's supposed to be IN CHARGE OF HER WELLBEING.


Madcap said...

Yeah, I like "kids need parents". What an idea.

It's odd, but as much as I'm so hands-off in lots of areas, I'm so "controlling" in other ways.

Poppy's really had the lesson come home this week. Her 14 year old classmate is pregnant, no parental supervision or guidance in the realm of common sense. She was saying to me tonight, as we cleaned up from supper, "Last year when you used to talk to me about this stuff, and were telling me that you weren't going to give me the opportunity to make decisions that would hurt me in the future, I didn't know why you thought talking about sex was important. Now I see why. It's really sad." And it IS really sad. Whichever way the cat jumps, there's going to be plenty of hurt.