I know that as the twins have learned to move through the world, my role in their life has changed. What I try to do now is teach them to understand that there are always two sides. I would say I don’t do as well at this as I would like to think. I know that both of them tend to lash out first, and then later come back and apologize. The risk of doing that, of lashing out can be significant. We talk, on our daily Lab walk, about the impact of communication. As we head into the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the Moon, I wonder. I remember the alter events of Apollo 13. Of my father coming home and asking me for what had happened that day in terms of the Astronauts.
Now, looking back I realize my father was teaching me to present both sides. To remove the emotion and respond to what was going on. I didn’t realize he was doing that at the time. But like many of the lessons of our parents, that one was buried for many years. It is only, sometimes, when you deal with others that you realize the impact of your parents. In seeking our path to tomorrow, we often find that those that went before paved the path we take. Funny that we don’t always realize that others trod that path before us, until stopping at a waypoint or pausing for a moment we see something that reminds us that others were here before us. Things our parents taught us!
Sometimes I hear my dad’s words when I stop. Sometimes, I hear his voice in my head. Don’t leap to conclusions. Don’t argue the person argue the facts. Don’t make it personal, if you make it personal, you lose the argument. Consider, both sides. I would love to say that my father’s lessons have stuck with me in everything I do. They haven’t. Like anyone I struggle with the reality of where I am, of what is happening around me. I let things both of me that I shouldn’t. I know that listening to one side of an argument is dangerous. I know to hear only one view is dangerous as well. I know that I can do better. I wish I could be the person my father was, in some ways I am in others I will never be.