In my last article, “JOY and SORE,” I wrote of the joy I felt deep down inside. It was a joy that had been going on for several days. That joyous feeling came to a train-wreck sort of a halt when I picked up the phone later that afternoon to hear that one of my sons was in the principal’s office.
As my son came home later that afternoon, he wouldn’t look me in the eyes, too ashamed of his actions. No doubt he already had some idea of the impact his actions had had. I felt sad and disappointed and he knew it.
The next morning, I decided he and I would watch some of Oprah’s LifeClass series on her new network OWN. We watched a beautiful show on Finding Your Purpose. We engaged in dialogue about what he truly loves to do and what brings him joy.
We followed that show by another LifeClass where the lesson being taught was, “When You Know Better, You Do Better.” We sat and watched in silence, both sipping our tea.
When the show had ended, he was very clear on the message. We discussed it at length and it was apparent that he felt truly penitent.
Later that day I wondered something. Clearly, he already knew better. If he hadn’t known better, he wouldn’t have exhibited the shame he did. He wouldn’t have cried what I’d call ‘sorrowful tears that stung’. He would have justified and made excuses. But the thing is, he did know better. Yet, he chose not to do better.
So here’s what I wondered: “Why, when we know better, do we at times choose not to do better? Why do we repeat actions that we know to be unloving, forging ahead anyway?”
I believe there are many reasons why we do this, each different depending on the circumstance. But in time, my hope is that we lessen the frequency of these blunders. That we learn along the way and continue to grow from such experiences.
As much as I wanted to dole out severe consequences, I sat back and looked at the bigger picture, at what I know to be true. I know him. He is a good kid who made a poor choice, and truly felt remorseful. This was not a repeat of some prior action. So why pour salt on the wound? He felt badly enough all on his own. (That’s not to say he didn’t have certain privileges taken away; I wouldn’t be doing my job as a parent if he didn’t.)
Knowing Better and Doing Better. Sometimes it takes a few go’s before we get it right. But if you Trust, Trust that there is a bigger picture, a bigger Knowing driving what IS, I believe you’d concur we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be on our path.
It’s that Trust that gives me comfort. It’s that Trust that I hope gives you comfort. And although my son is young, and perhaps doesn’t yet have the maturity to fully understand the concept, I hope that in time he comes to feel that same Trust.
Trust on that level is Freeing.