Monday, February 27, 2006

You probably will be like one of your parents

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked
it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.
- John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

People today travel much farther in their lives than they did in Muir's day. But do they travel farther in their spiritual or emotional lives than their forebears?

Most of us discover as we get older that we become more and more like one of our parents, or like a grandparent or whoever influenced us greatly in our early years. Some of us find this surprising.

We shouldn't. We're programmed to replicate closely a person who influenced us during our early years, even if we conflicted with that person frequently.

Breaking away from that programming can be done, but only with strict self discipline and commitment to being different. If our early childhood experience was bad, we can learn what we lacked and give it to our own children so that they (and we) will have better lives.

One important point is that we must teach to those who follow us what we have learned. Otherwise those who follow will have to learn the hard way, the same way we did.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help us break the cycle of reinventing the wheel with each succeeding generation.
Learn more at

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