Sometimes I wish I could have known years ago what I know now. I’m guessing I’m not the only one. But things are complex and the more you recognize this fact along with a bit more patience for yourself and others, I’m guessing, the happier you are. Proof of this can often be found on Facebook where people are fond of posting their trials of being surrounded by so many other incompetent people. Nearly as awkward as people who shop at Walmart but make fun of people who shop at Walmart.
My wife and I share one car so I drive her to work every morning before I turn the radio to ESPN and listen to Colin Cowherd on the way back to my home-office. Today, a caller lamented about a socially progressive flash point that ESPN covered during its programing over the weekend because it made him uncomfortable. His only argument was that he’d, “Have a hard time explaining this issue to his seven-year old child.” It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. Whenever a progressive topic makes headlines there always appears a social conservative ready with the, “How do I explain this to my kids?” disagreement.
This prompted two immediate ideas:
1. You don’t. Not every topic is appropriate for a small child.
2. Just because a thing cannot be explained to a sever-year old in a few minutes does not make it wrong or even inappropriate.
I’m the father of my own seven-year old and there are thousands of complex ideas and systems I can’t explain to her in under a minute, a few weeks for that matter or even longer. For example it takes years of practice, training and comprehension for a person to become a surgeon. It takes years of study to master financial institutions and strategies for investment. Most things in life, anything of real value takes years to understand let alone master.
There are lessons I’m STILL learning everyday; lessons that have taken me years to only recently understand. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn more or expand my understanding of my vocation, of my relationships or even of my self. And I know there are many lessons I still have to learn. I’ve also changed my opinion back and forth again on a number of issues as I become more learned about it or presented with new information surrounding it.
I guess I just cannot comprehend living in a world that if can’t be explained to my seven-year old in a few minutes, makes me “uncomfortable”.
A teachable moment? There’s no such thing. Most things cannot be understood in a moment. Most things takes time even years of experience (and even a few mistakes) to learn. That is the lesson I teach to my daughter. That and if a guy kisses another guy, even a football player, it’s no big deal.