I like asking myself new questions that bring out better things within me. Bringing up new thoughts and new inspirations always leads me to greater work.
And recently I have been evaluating my parenting. I only have one kid but someday I’d like to have more but even if not, I have much to improve upon. I have much to learn and I have so much to put aside so that I can focus when I am present with my son.
And the question that has challenged me the most recently is:
Will Harrison be proud of me?
Will he be proud of me when he looks back over my life or reads about it in the journals I leave for him or sees the notes in the margins of the books I saved for him and think he’s proud of me? Will he know the things that I have taught him and rejoice or be ashamed? Will he celebrate who I was and share stories about me with his friends that don’t just make fun of my corny jokes?
Will he be proud or ashamed? That is the true question. I know some people who mention their parents only in regards to what not to do. That’s not the case for me when I speak about my dad. He taught me a lot and I’m proud to be his son. Yes, he could have done more but he did great with what he had and I’m ecstatic for that. To this day, any time I need help, he is the person I go to for help and he steps up to the plate every time.
But when looking to my mom, I feel ashamed. Simply because I feel like she gave up on me. She didn’t put much into our relationship once my dad got custody of me and for this I am ashamed because I felt like she was ashamed of me. I am sure that I have some deep seated resentment there but ultimately a lot of it is the feeling of shame when describing my mother. I am not proud of that relationship and honestly it is not for the lack of my trying. Yes, I could have done better and can do more now but ultimately, it is not a sense of pride for me and that makes me yearn to be better for my son.
And this awesome question greatly enhances the things I pursue because working out becomes easier when I think about my son being proud of me. Drinking less soda becomes easier when Harrison is at the front of my mind. Focusing on positive things instead of the negative becomes easier when Harrison is there in my mind’s eye.
So let’s switch our thinking from will I enjoy this or benefit from this and switch it to will our kids/parents/friends/spouses/etc… benefit from this. Will they be proud of us? Some Christians used to say this in a different way but it meant the same thing. They even made bracelets for it. Those bracelets said “What would Jesus do?” But what they meant was, what choice would he be the most excited about us making?
That’s a good way to make decisions and I encourage you to try it and you’ll be blessed because of this new viewpoint.
So ask yourself, what would make them (whoever they are to you) most proud of you?