You Get To Choose

Two brothers grow up with an abusive, alcoholic father. One becomes a model parent and abstains from drinking; the other is a drunk. When asked how they turned out the way they did independently, each answered, “When you grow up with the father I had, how else can you turn out?”

John Rosemond is a psychologist who writes a column on parenting that always has excellent insight and advice. Today’s column contained the question, why is it that some people who grew up in abusive families can grow up to be great parents?

You actually get to choose your response to your situation.

My first college paper with a philosophical theme was an analysis of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s (later immortalized on Laugh In by the comedian who quoted poems by Henry Gibson pronounced to be similar in sound) concept of Truth as revealed in his play Peer Gynt.

[Note: we all had to give an oral presentation of our papers to the class. The guy before me compared Shakespeare to Batman comics. You can see already where I was going in life 😉 ]

Truth is a creative response to life.

We get to choose how we respond.

It’s a long tradition–Sidhartha Gautama, your thoughts will determine your direction; Apostle Paul, fill your mind with the things from above; Víktor Frankl, you choose your response; Jesus, choose to follow God.

It’s Advent. Aka, the holiday season (lumping in New Year’s Eve celebrations).

We can choose–be anxious about selecting gifts; be overworked with the thought of too many parties to give and attend; be overwhelmed with the commercialism; be excited by the anticipation of the celebrations; be thankful because of the remembrance of the coming of the Prince of Pease; be at peace and enjoy.

Take a deep breath and release it slowly. We get to choose.

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