Hello September rain!! What a great reprieve from the heat, even if it brings higher humidity for a while. While we wait for hints of fall coming, let’s see what this second September week has for us with the next set of questions for week thirty-seven of 2018, challenging us with this month’s Childcare lifeskill. These questions are offered by Bob Tiede at At Leading With Questions, from wisdom leaders around the nation and world.*
Question 1: What gets you excited about life?
I love watching a baby start to develop a keen, curious delight of its own body and surroundings. They are the ones who are truly excited about life. All us adults need to resurrect that wonder to appreciate the gift of life we have and those around us.
Question 2: If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
We often teach our children every day to reach for perfection, even when we say “do your best.” As adults, we then find ourselves looking for perfection in each other. We then presume mistakes say we are not perfect, feel judged, criticized, and become more insecure. Mistakes can be a friend when we humbly accept them, learn from them, and embrace greater maturity with age and circumstances.
Question 3: Has your greatest fear ever come true?
There is nothing more life-changing and heart-breaking than have someone you love to die. With my own childhood abuse history, trauma of any kind has always been hard to face. In my first decade of marriage, my husband and I experienced four deaths one after the other. The first was my husband youngest 17-year-old brother, who was about to go to the same university we were attending. While backroad bicycling at sunset a 16-year-old driving a jeep slammed into him.
The second death was my husband’s middle brother, Charlie. He committed suicide while at a Japanese Zen retreat. When told about his younger brother, he went into deep depression and committed “Hari-kari.” The third death was another suicide by my husband’s university major professor. He became paralyzed from a motorcycle/car accident and couldn’t understandably handle the trauma and devastation to his physically and mentally active life as a professor. The fourth death was my father who died of a heart attack in my home while visiting when I was six months pregnant with my first daughter.
The one silver lining to so many deaths early in our marriage is when others came in later years, we could deal with it better. The grief and loss weren’t any less, but we also gained a strong empathy for anyone experiencing loss.
Question 4: What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?
Moving on to a more positive topic, falling in love when young is so easy to do. Can you remember your first love or crush? Were you just ten years old, sixteen? I was 18 years old. My first and only falling in love and being in love was with my husband to be. But for some, falling in love may be a repeating condition. Whereas, being in love can be “the one and only” type of falling in love. Go back in time and remember your own “falling in love” time(s) and your “being in love” time(s). What do those memories give you?
Question 5: Can there be happiness without sadness? Pleasure without pain? Peace without war?
Answers to this question group cover the gambit of generations. Just ask a Millennial person. Then turn around and ask a Boomer. The spread of perspectives I bet would be as broad as our oceans! Yet, just remember, happiness, no matter the age, always comes with some form of sadness, eventually. The happiness without sadness, pleasure without pain, and peace without war connection all depend on what you base your core values on and how long that happiness, pleasure, or peace lasts then unexpectedly ends.
Question 6: Who or what do you think of when you think of love?
The answer here also depends on your age. For a five-year-old, it’s “I love my Legos!” For a sixteen-year-old, it just may be the latest boyfriend or girlfriend. When asking a 70 plus year-old you may simply get “I love my family.” You may also get “I just love today and am simply grateful for yet another day.”
Question 7: Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
Some may say with faith, that is where truth rests and doesn’t need to be challenged. Yet, from my perspective, we all challenge what everyone believes, including ourselves. I see the word, challenge, as a positive, more like asking questions. That is why I decided to devote this 2018 year to questions. For every human being, doubts abound, and questions are the keys to open doors of truth.
Faith is a beautiful and wondrous gift. And with that gift, God created us all with curiosity from the moment we were born. That is the wonder of the what, why, when, where, whom, and how questions of life! The only caution to any “challenge,” would be your attitude and behavior toward another person or child when questions are asked. My hope is your curiosity or “challenge” be tempered with respect and compassion making you both teachable and open to truth.