sunnuntai 10. helmikuuta 2013

Day 269 - A realization on responsibility.



I was walking outside and I saw a couple of kids playing under a tree that sheltered them into a make-belief house. At first I thought that I saw a play that had just ended in a fight, but as I came closer it became apparent that they were playing a family that fought.

I heard some of what the kids were saying when I walked past them and the words spoken within the fight made no sense. It seemed to be just fighting for the sake of fighting - playing that which family life apparently consists of much in the same way as cooking or doing laundry without a deeper understanding of what the action is about.

I walked onward and I started to consider how I've acted when I was a child. I approach the topic through games because that is an environment (though an artificial one) where I've previously "spawned to a new world", and because I couldn't remember my own childhood with the required specificity.

I realized that whenever I've started a new game I've always looked around at what others are doing. I've practiced and learned through imitation, and in this I usually end up doing lots of stupid things because I trust that the people who I imitate "know better" even though they do not. It always takes a while (depending on the complexity of the game) for me to learn how to play for myself - in a way where I no longer imitate (for example: walking to a destination with others instead of following others without knowing the destination).

I realized that the children probably didn't understand that what they were playing was the result of a dysfunction. They thought it to be normal and they "practiced" to do it (playing is practice) to prepare them for life - or what they perceived and believed life to be which is that which they saw around them.

I then remembered a conversation with a friend of mine who just became a dad. He was thinking about what to teach the child and what to keep hidden from the child - an example of something to teach was his knack with mechanical things and one thing to hide was that he smoked. We ended up realizing that it is impossible to keep things hidden from a person with whom you live for close to 18 years, and thereby the child will learn who his/her parents are instead of what they are trying to teach him/her.

This all came together in a realization that because of this point - because of the nature of children - my responsibility is to be the best that I can be. Not according to some societal standards or by the standards of my own self-interest, but according to the standards of being human itself. Firstly I "owe" this to myself because I am the one who lives my life - I am the one who experiences it all - and through honesty, integrity, discipline, a sense of equality and being a man of my word (actually living what I speak) I will most definitely "grant" myself a good life. Secondly I "owe" it to my future child(ren) because who I am will be the example that he/she(they) will imitate when learning how to live...

...And through my kids (through who I am - who they "get to" imitate) I influence the world that continues to turn long after I am gone...

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