Monday, April 27, 2020

Refer to the example

Example. What a wonderful word! What an awful word! Yes indeed, one of those words with a double blade, depending on the portrayer of said example.

The English language is indeed such an example. We have so many words that mean many different things but are the same: to, too, two. You know what I mean. The confusion of words and meanings must seem impossible for those who do not understand this mishmash language. But for now, 'example' is my word.

From early school days, we know what an example means. Examples are shown in our workbooks and on the blackboard. Examples show us how to do something. They are actions as well as words.... actions as well as words.

Examples. Hm. Right now we are seeing examples. There are two sides to this issue of isolation. I am on the side of caution. There are those on the side of pushing the envelope. However, this is not the issue in this little bunch of words. The issue is how we show what we feel. You and I know that we are examples.

For the last few days, the twins (age almost 8) stayed with us. We have been back and forth for the entire isolation period, knowing that none of the two households are in contact with anyone else. We have practiced distancing and are teaching the children the same. I am amazed at how two eight-year-olds are handling the entire thing. Yes, it is by example.

I am on Facebook and see posts from people raging that they cannot get free being isolated and also those posting fake news on almost anything to reinforce what they want to believe (be it real or not). Examples. Our family is really good at research. We are also pretty good at listening to different views. Perhaps the biggest take away from this is that we allow for change and growth. There is an isolation that happens when we only take in what reinforces what we wish to believe.

I find the people I learn the most from are my grandchildren. They all have a different view of life from ages 21, 18 and two at 8. Their histories are limited, but their views on life are limitless. The simplicity of the youngers' thoughts often blows me away as they did when the girls were young. There is a purity in youth that cuts to the chase. They are examples of possibilities.

So what is taught in the home is taught by example. Raised in a home of yelling and closed-mindedness only feeds the youth who innocently listen. The cycle just repeats over and over again. Can it change?

I was in a rocky first marriage. Having married young enough and in the Bible belt, I was raised that the man ruled the house. A woman had her place in the home. In the home. Children were told to be quiet and have no opinions. What happened in the home stayed in the home. Yes, it was an unhappy marriage. When my husband came home from work, the children were bathed clean and ready to greet Daddy with open arms. The house was clean, the wife was humble and dinner was on the table. It was in all its perfection truly flawed. When another woman came into the picture, I realized that I had lived my life for him and not for me and my children. So I grabbed hold of a life I gave up when I was a young bride and reveled in the freedom. I dropped everything to play with my children and to get to know them better. I tossed out my past of a male glorified world and found out that the examples I had followed were seriously flawed. I loved myself and my life. My ex told me that he didn't like the new me. Hm. He didn't like the old one either. But I had donned the example I wanted my children to know.

Example. I have worn this new me for most of my adult life. It is a 'me' who has changed numerous times and one who has been added too as well. I had to define what my example would be and then pass it on to those I love, allowing them to know their example was sometimes flawed as well as able to grow and change.

Example. We all need to ask ourselves which type of example we want to be. We have no choice whether or not to be an example, because we just are.

Food for thought from an isolated woman making the most of the time.

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