Breaking the cycle is a term we have all heard. Especially if we come from a family (and these days who doesn't) that has a history of some type of violence and/or drug abuse whereas this phrase is told to us over and over. "Yes, you have had a bad hand in life. Life is not fair. But the best thing you can do is raise your head and break the cycle of violence in your life".
It seems to me that "break the cycle" has to do with some type of horrific traumatizing event that may have been re-occurring for many years (abuse of a spouse or child) or a one time unexpected event (a mugging or rape that leaves a life long scar).
What if there is another cycle that is not so "in your face" apparent, but rather a silent cycle that is not recognized anymore as it is a universal disease that no one really notices anymore. What if dying an uncelebrated life is a cycle all of its own?
As I have been trying to break my own cycle of work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep after countless years, which can lead to nothing but contempt, bitterness and anger, I am trying to break the cycle of teaching this very learned behavior to my son.
I have the thoughts lately (seems to be all the time now) that life is not forever. It could actually be gone tomorrow. Did I waste today? I may not have found the cure for Aids or cancer or war, but did I make someone smile today? Did I have some type of positive influence on someone's life, even if it was just my own? Did I enjoy the sunrise?
My son came bounding down the stairs the other day looking for a battery. He recently received a metal detector for his birthday. Seeing as he is so in love with money at this stage of his life he could not wait to get that baby warmed up. He told tales of finding wild amounts of hidden treasures as only a young child could possibly imagine and what he would do with his massive new bounty.
"I would give 500 hundred to Gramps; I would put 500 hundred in the bank; I would keep 200 hundred for myself; I would give 200 hundred to the house and I would give all the rest to the poor people."
My heart filled with joy with the fact that "I would buy the best video game systems and all the video games I want for the rest of my life", (which is what we used to dream about) didn't come out of his mouth. Houston, we may be making progress here.
I have vowed to raise my son with respect. Respect for people, respect for women and respect for himself. We step aside on the sidewalk for adults and most especially women. We open the door for others and most especially women. We treat other people and their property with respect as we would expect the same from them.
When I mention an uncelebrated life, I don't mean a life that deserves the "medal of honor" but a life of love, happiness and laughter.
When the heck did I turn 33? I turned 33 while working to pay the bills and while trying to "make something of myself". Now I know that I am something and I have always been something. I am something all my own and unique to me that no one else but me can be and what a shame it is that I don't share myself with the world (or in a smaller more likely circle, my friends and family). My special brand of something has been lost in the quest to make more money, get a better house, and get a better car, so I can actually be a worthy adult and satisfied with my station in life. What a load of bull!
Now I am satisfied with my station (my house, my car, my job) and anything else that comes along is a bonus and how lucky am I? What I have to do now is find the full potential of my special something and how can I apply it to the people around me for the greater good?
Now, I have lost a lot of years with the false notion that what you have is what you are, so I have to hurry my process up a bit if I want to get a good 20-30 years of making a difference, but my son is young. And young people have the most valuable commodity known to man. They have youth. Youth meaning, energy, imagination and invincibility.
It is up to me now to not beat this most wonderful trait out of him by saying, "do good in school so you can go to college, so you can get a good job, so you can have a nice house, so you can marry the perfect wife, so you can have a huge mortgage and massive credit car debt so the by the time your 40 you hate your life". I think you get the picture.
Deepak Chopra said in one of his books that he told his children not to worry about school and not to worry about money. That he would provide for them no matter what. They were to just concentrate on that one thing that makes them special. Of course, they went to the best colleges and have wonderful jobs and became successful. He has broken the cycle. Thank you, Deepak. I, too, wish to break this cycle.
I wish for my son to go on and find the reason why he is here on this earth, or at the very least what can he contribute that no one else can so when he is nearing the end of his life he can look back and say "Damn I am going to miss this life. It was fun!"
Barbara Davidson is the creator of the "We Can Change Today" website
http://www.wecanchangetoday.com encouraging and experimenting with change.