(Image is me standing in front of a mural wall I helped my artist son paint in 2014)
This week’s prompt: write about something that helped to shape your outlook on life.
I found this prompt challenging in that it forced me to look inward at what constitutes me.
I think I am a combination of many factors.
My upbringing was in a Catholic household and one virtue my parents taught me was to be humble. We played a lot of sport and defeat was a common occurrence but my mother would say so long as did you best then accept the other guy was better for no matter where you go in life there is always someone better than you.
I was taught to see people as people. It was explained to me in simple ways: everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time. Everyone feels pain and hurt and at the end of everyday we all need to lie down and rest.
Fundamental to all that was the knowledge that love in its many forms would always win over adversity.
I didn’t come from a very demonstrative family so such things came to me in difficult ways.
I don’t possess the best social skills in fact I often feel out of place in social gatherings.
But when I had children of my own I tried to be there for them in every way I could. With six that wasn’t easy as the youngest would always demand the most attention but somehow despite everything we all turned out ok and we still like each other.
I found, as I grew older that my spiritual beliefs changed as I educated myself about different religions and looked closely at the one I was brought up in.
I agree that religion has a lot to answer for in this world. It espouses so much doctrine but has moved away from what the gospels actually said due mainly to those who thought they knew and therefore didn’t want anyone to think otherwise to their narrow views. I was brought up in a world of hell fire, fear was a factor that overshadowed every action, missing Mass would send you straight to hell and deprived the local priest of his weekly takings from the plate.
From my understanding of the gospels I discovered a God of love as opposed to the God of vengeance in the Old Testament. I wonder what happened to that God, as He seems to have been replaced by various Gods who apparently want nothing more than your blood for causes that to me are very spurious in nature.
As a teacher I tried to encourage every student in the work they did. Some times I was more successful than other times. We learn through applying what knowledge we have to any task and keeping our eyes open learn a little more as we go along.
Life is a continual learning curve, some lessons are welcomed and some are scary as.
Being open to others is a challenging way to be as so often you find yourself doubting what you do believe and at other times you feel grateful you have your beliefs not those of the crackpot you just wasted time on reading.
In the end you come to the conclusion you are you, and that sits ok with me.
I don’t know everything, I know something’s.