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by Dee Harris

   When we were born I believe we all arrived strong…strong to live and survive.  I believe our cells were born that way as well, but they never intentionally give up that will to survive.  As a matter of fact, they will continue on forever doing their best to keep us alive and well.  But what happens to us as human beings?

   So, okay, we come out with that fight or flight mentality – survival.  But it’s that mentality that will change us from the moment we start to be exposed to new experiences, incidents, and people.  Luckily, that doesn’t happen to our cells that continue to protect and nurture us as best they can throughout our lives.  And, yes, children are strong-willed, too, until we begin to “tame” the spirit out of them.  So let’s not.

   Okay, we must teach our children about safety, but we don’t have to scare them into living a fear-based life.  We can teach them to live smart and to make wise choices.  We all know that there is evil out there in the real world so we must undeniably teach that to our children, again, without forcing them to withdraw from society.

   I also feel that teaching our children about respect is one of the greatest lessons we can give them.  Being polite and learning proper etiquette, okay, very helpful.  But real respect comes from the teachings that none of us is any better nor any worse than the other.  We are all human beings that deserve respect, no matter what color, gender, race, etc.  We are ALL human beings.  We are ALL equal!

   We must learn to share.  We must learn to care.  It is not all about us.  Like everything else on the planet, we will be out of balance if we do not all thrive, from the tiniest of plankton to the hugest of whales.  We need each other!

   But kids won’t automatically get that.  We must teach them so that they won’t be the bully at school, the mass shooter that didn’t learn respect nor experience it during childhood, the politician who could swear on a stack of bibles to tell the truth to perform his duties and succumbs to power and money.

   So where am I going with this?  Let’s teach our children respect without taking the child away.  Our children’s power is their innocence, their strong-will, their being in the moment.  Yes, they can hold onto their childhood and practice respect at the same time.  As can we!

   And while we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.  Don’t forget that valuable lesson!

   We have lost our inner child as we matured into adults.  So many commitments.  So many responsibilities.  So much regret about the past and worry about the future.  Let’s get back in the moment as strong-willed children before society broke us into its stereotypical adult definition.

   And let’s teach our children what gifts they have in being strong-willed, respectfully.  Don’t be meek.  Stand up for yourself.  Don’t live in fear of others’ opinions and your own comparisons.  We are all human beings, doing the best we can.  Be okay with that.  You will thrive.  And as they teach this to their children, all of humanity and our planet will begin thriving once again as well.  We all have our own unique gifts.  Make sure your children know that, and sharing their unique assets is the greatest gift of all!

   It is easier to build strong children that to repair broken adults.  Don’t you agree?


  Thank you for reading my blog and for being part of my journey in recovery.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris