Sunday, January 24, 2010

Decisions, as Grandma Saw Them

One day I asked grandma if I could do something and she responded by telling me to ask my grandfather if I could.  After a time, I realized that this was a pattern with her whenever I asked permission to do certain things, and I asked her why she couldn’t give permission.

She just turned to me with a big smile upon her face and then proceeded to wipe her hands on the apron she was wearing at the time.  I knew that this was her way of taking a minute or two to gather her thoughts for the answer she was about to give to my question. Then she sat down and said,

“ Boy, it isn’t because I don’t have the authority to give you permission to do something.  It is because of what your grandfather and I learned about being parents from raising your father and his brothers and sisters.  Parenthood is a vocation and one where no man and woman can be taught how to proceed in the raising of children to adulthood.  It is, essentially, a time of trial and error throughout.  That is because each of us are individuals and we need to be raised as individuals.

One of the first things that we learned is that I would give permission at times when your grandfather would have denied permission and there would be times that your grandfather would give permission when I would have denied permission.   Your father, being the oldest, learned this quickly and knew who to ask when he wanted something.  And I’ll admit this caused fights between your grandfather and myself.

After a time I learned to trust your grandfather in the decisions he made for the kids and I found out that he was usually right in those decisions.  Now, that doesn’t mean he was always right but I learned something else when he was wrong.  I learned he had enough confidence in his decisions so as to correct any bad decisions he made if it could be corrected. 

You will very seldom hear him apologize when he makes a bad decision and that is because he knows he is not perfect and will not always make the right decision the first time.  He always considered it a learning experience thus doesn’t feel guilty for it.  And this is what most people do not understand about your grandfather when they expect him to apologize and he doesn’t.

I, on the other hand, would always feel bad when I made a foolish decision and your grandfather chastised me many a time when I would apologize.  And when I finally got around to it and asked him why he would always ask if I learned anything from it.  And when I said yes then he would only smile and tell me that no apology was necessary then.

That was when I realized that life is all about learning and that learning is to be a positive part of our lives.  So, why should we imperfect human beings apologize for the positive experiences in our lives?  We should celebrate them as we do when anything positive happens.  Only those who cannot see the positive but only see the negatives of what we do demand apologies from those we love and trust.”

With these words said she got up and went back to doing what she had started to do before I interrupted her and left me to ponder over the value of her words.

14 comments:

Karen Howes said...

Grandma's a wise lady.

My parents always presented a united front regarding decisions having to do with us kids... never did they argue about such decisions in our presence. They may not have actually agreed, but they knew better than to contradict each other in front of us.

The Griper said...

yes,, consistancy, that is what a child needs. the child doesn't get confused that way. and he doesn't learn to play one against the other.

and this is one problem with divorced parents.

BB-Idaho said...

Kids have the inate ability to use the 'divide and conquer' strategy.
Parents have the inate ability to
recognize the kids inate ability.
Seems that modern 'experts' fail to recognize this simple natural process...:)

The Griper said...

yes BB, so true.
if the experts would realize that kids are individuals instead of one of a pack they'd know they weren't experts.

Lista said...

Ok, Griper, I'm Reading a Post that you Recommended because it Contains "Grandma's Wisdom" and I'll tell you Something. Grandma is a More Submissive Person than I am and has Found a Man that she Trusts and Agrees with Most of the Time.

Here are a Few Questions for you...

"I learned he had enough confidence in his decisions so as to correct any bad decisions he made if it could be corrected."

How do you Correct a Decision? Usually this isn't Possible.

"You will very seldom hear him apologize when he makes a bad decision and that is because he knows he is not perfect and will not always make the right decision the first time."

How does Knowing Ones Imperfection Lead to Lack of Apology? To Me, an Apology is Nothing More than Admitting that Imperfection. The Lack of Apology is not a Biblical Idea, so he was not Following Scripture when he Acted on this Idea. Your Grandma is the One who was Doing Right by Apologizing and your Grandpa was Wrong in this one.

Lista said...

"Only those who cannot see the positive, but only see the negatives of what we do demand apologies from those we love and trust."

I do not at all Agree with you. I Think you have Learned a Negative Lesson, rather than a Positive One in this Regard.

It is Hard to Trust when no Apology has been Given because there is no Way to Know For Sure rather or not the Behavior that has Hurt us is Going to be Repeated. An Apology is a Form of Communication that Assures the Person Apologized to that the Apologizer will at Least Try to not Repeat the Action again. Without this Assurance, Trust is Nearly Impossible and without that Trust, the Relationship is Destroyed.

There is a Possibility that it may be Hard for you, Griper, to Admit that your Grandparents may have Actually been Wrong about Something, yet it is my Belief that this is One of Those Times and I am Referring to their Philosophy in Relation to Apologies.

And Also, as to your Grandma's Wisdom, Your Grandma, Griper, Appears to be a lot Like my Mother. She is a True Submissive and Doesn't Really Have much Wisdom of Her Own. She is Only Reciting the Beliefs and Philosophies of her Husband. My Mom is the Same Way, but I did not Inherit this Trait.

Lista said...

It has Always Surprised me, Griper, the Extent to which People just Agree with you. They do not Look Deeply Enough into what you are Saying.

I have Never been One what Fits the Mold in Relation to the Philosophy of your Grand Parents. As Far as the Submissiveness of the Female, I was Raised the Same Way, but was Never Able to Personally Apply it.

What Ever Perception you have had of me in this Regard, your Perception will Never Change what is Actually True in my Reality.

Often the Only Way to have a United Front is to Stifle one of the Opinions, and the Most Common Opinion that is Stifled is the Opinion of the Female. I Actually Chose not to have Kids for this Reason. My Husband and I did not Agree enough on How to Raise them and I did not Want to Have Kids if I had no Say and how they were Raised.

The Griper said...

lista,
"How do you Correct a Decision? Usually this isn't Possible.

if it isn't usually possible then before i answer your question i would need to ask you one first. and what is your understanding of the meaning of "correcting a decision"?
---------------
"How does Knowing Ones Imperfection Lead to Lack of Apology? To Me, an Apology is Nothing More than Admitting that Imperfection."

yes, it could be interpreted as being what you have said. this i will agree with you. it also could be interpreted as apologizing for being imperfect also because it is a person's imperfection that was the cause of the misdeed, isn't it?

grandpappy taught me that in order to correct any problem you must address the cause of a problem. if you don't address the cause then you are only addressing a symptom of the problem and that problem will just reemmerge again later.

it is the cause/effect principle. if the cause is not dealt with then you cannot change the effect.
-----------

Lista said...

To Correct a Decision, you have to Make the Consequences of the Bad Decision Go Away, or at the Very Least, Lessen them in some Way.

This Usually isn't Possible, but there is One Exception and that Exception is an Apology, for the Apology has a Tendency to Appease Anger and Hurt Feelings and therefore lessen the Hurt. Apologies Also help to Restore Trust. To have a Philosophy or Set of Principles that Prevents such an Action is just Plain Foolish.

What is so Wrong with Apologizing for being Imperfect?

What if the Cause of a Problem is the Lack of Apology? Apparently, that is a Problem that you are not Allowed to Correct.

Also, if the Cause is Always Viewed as Being within the Other Person and not Within Oneself, then that is Self Centered and if the Other Person is always the One who has to Change, then that is also Self Centered and Selfish, as well as Lazy.

The Griper said...

lista,
"What is so Wrong with Apologizing for being Imperfect?"
the answer is simple.

i am imperfect because that is the way God created me to be. thus God is the cause of my imperfection. why should i apologize for something i did not cause? and i'd be aplogizing for God and i see no reason for the need to apologize for what he did nor do i want to.

Lista said...

Boy, Griper!! You are just One Contradiction and Hypocrisy After another, for that Sounds Like Determinism to me and Yet I Thought you Believed in Free Choice.

The Real Truth of the Matter is that you Believe what is Convenient for you. When you are Defending Extreme Republicanism, on a Level Similar to Libertarianism, you Emphasize Choice, because that Suits your Purpose in the Defense of these Ideas, yet when you are Defending your Right to not Apologize or Take Responsibility for Something, you Believe instead in Determinism, rather than Free Choice.

The Truth of the Matter is that we are Held Responsible for Our Choices and there are Consequences for them. God also Commands that we Repent and Confess, so your Decision to not Admit Fault is a Rebellion Against God. Your Grand Father's Idea is not Biblical, Griper. It's just an Idea that is Convenient for you, but it Comes with Consequences and It's Really too bad that you have not been Able to See that.

The Griper said...

reread my comment in regards to your question, lista. you didn't ask me a question about something i had a "choice" in. i didn't choose to be imperfect.

Lista said...

No, You Reread My Comment, Griper, because I did not Say that you Chose to Be Imperfect.

The Context of the Question, Griper, was in Relation to Bad Choices and the Fact that Grandpa will not Apologize for Bad Choices because God Made him Imperfect. The Justification that God Made him Imperfect was in the Context of Choices and you can not Remove the Question from it's Context Like that. To Fail to Apologize for Choices because "God Made me Imperfect" is a Position of Determinism, Plain and Simple.

I'm sure, though, that you have an Answer for this, because you are an Absolute Master at Justifying yourself. My Prediction is that you are Probably going to Try and Redefine a Word.

The Griper said...

fine, lista, if things are that plain and simple then have it your way. i've explained my position as best as i can. there is nothing more for me to say.

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