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The Mean-ing of Life - No Such Thing as Average

Written by Gal Baras   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00
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No Such Thing as Average

However, in order to drive more profits, those same things keep changing. So we hurry up and buy new things to make life interesting—but then again, so does everybody else. The result is a crazed, hyped, yet boring life.

Schools make this even worse by testing and measuring everything, and administering state comparative tests—supposedly to make sure “no child is left behind,” but actually to increase conformity. The school system in many places is based on teaching 30 very different students with a single teacher, using one teaching style— and expects to fit everyone inside some bell-shaped academic performance curve.

I am here to tell you there is not a single person in the world who is average. It most certainly is not you and it definitely is not your kids. No matter what research shows, it may or may not apply in your case. No matter what experts write in best-selling books, they did not know you or your kids when they wrote it.

So here is what I suggest:

Take a deep breath. Exhale all the way to your abdomen and then inhale deeply.

Take another deep breath. This one will be deeper than the one before, and will help you relax. Are you relaxed?

Make a list of areas in your life in which you try to conform. It may help to start with things about yourself that make you uncomfortable: your shape, your weight, your level of education, your hobbies, your religion, your choice of car or whatever. That discomfort comes from having an unrealistic expectation of yourself.

Take another deep breath. It can be unpleasant to recall this stuff, so calm yourself before you go on.

Add to your list areas in which you try to make your children conform. It may help to start with things they generally refuse to do when you ask, or otherwise evade somehow: homework, housework, extra-curricular activities, kissing their aunt on the cheek, and so on. That friction comes from them just trying to do what is natural for them and you expecting something else.

Take another deep breath. Not a bad habit, is it?

Go over your lists and ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for? Who am I trying to please here? Who says things need to be this way?”

Now, ask yourself, “What will happen if I just do things naturally instead?” Allow your mind to create an image of that possibility. Remember, it is only in your mind, and if you do not like anything, you can choose something different.

Write an alternative to each item on your list that you are willing to change.

Go over your list from time to time, and see if you can change anything else.

Feeling good about yourself will help you feel good about your kids. And when you feel good about your whole family, you will be happy…no matter what the average is.

Pathways Issue 32 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #32.

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