Freedom To Live

Some parents are quite controlling. Once called “helicopter parents” and now sometime I’ve heard “snowplow parents”, they want to make everything smooth and painless for their soon-to-be uber successful kids.

If the kids acquiesce in this through adolescence and early adulthood (which for the past 20 years has been the same thing), I know a good therapist.

I always told my kids that the role of a parent it to set guidelines and the role of an adolescent is to push against them. It’s a dynamic tension if done in love yields healthy adults on both sides. Unhealthy adolescents never get over that “nobody’s gonna tell me what to do” attitude.

The funny thing (not funny “ha ha”) about this adolescent attitude is that you wind up missing out on things that will in the long run result in the freedom to live longer or better. Currently the debate is over vaccines, but there have been others in the past (seat belts in cars?) and will be others in the future.

It’s a dynamic tension.

I think that is similar to the dynamic tension Paul was trying to explain in writings such as the letter to the Galatians. It’s weird. You have the freedom to live in the spirit, yet by living in the spirit you wind up following the law–at least the big ones (maybe not the don’t eat bacon one, but that was different, you can’t be nomadic and raise hogs).

Some of us can live in this dynamic tension. Some need to resolve the tension by opting either for complete libertarianism, while others resolve it by seeking a new authoritarian “father” to tell everyone what to do.

I like dynamic tension. It’s creative.

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