My daughter and I love to cuddle up in my bed and watch angsty teenage dramas on MTV. It’s totally my guilty pleasure. Some of the characters make me crazy, and I love to hate them. How can someone be so shallow! How can someone be so stupid!
And then my daughter called me out.
“Mom, I don’t understand how you can do the work that you do when you are so judgemental and bitter towards people!”
She’s right. If any one of these characters were to walk into my office in real life, I would search to understand where they were coming from. I would try to help them develop the skills they need to navigate their lives more effectively.
Now, you may say that the TV characters I love to hate are not part of the real world, and that there’s no problem with letting loose on imaginary people.
But when I look at my daughter, I just count my lucky stars that somehow she has managed to grow into such a compassionate and caring person in spite of her mother’s periodic ranting about stupid people. Obviously, her childhood was not completely filled with hatred and judgement. But this has got me thinking about what we model for our kids.
What do you say about the guy who cuts you off in traffic?
What do you say about the clerk who is checking out your groceries at a speed slower than molasses?
What do you say about your spouse when they have pounced on your last nerve?
Do you live what you say you believe in?