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A Hard Look From a Seven-Year-Old

I ran across this piece the other day. Its author is listed as Thomas Jones. I must warn you, it carries a sad message.

 

Something to Think About

Across the fields of yesterday he sometimes comes to me,

A little lad just back from play–the lad I used to be.

And yet he smiles so wistfully once he has crept within,

I wonder if he hopes to see the man I might have been.

 

I told you it was sad. To me, this poem is loaded with regret, but it needn’t be. It made me think of how interesting (possibly troubling) it would be to be evaluated today by ourselves at age seven. Would that seven-year-old be pleased or disappointed?

It’s a fair question. You measuring you, separted by a few decades of life in the trenches. How would you do?

I grew up in post-WWII/Korea times, and times weren’t always the best. Things were tight sometimes; we didn’t have a television until I was almost out of elementary school. My father worked for wages in an oil production related job and my mother was a homemaker. Dad’s early advice to me was to focus on a career where I could use my head and work indoors. (I never really understood if he was stipulating two separate characteristics, or if that getting an indoors job would mean I had used my head.)

I managed to accomplished that.

At age seven, I didn’t even know what a psychologist was, let alone have the foggiest clue that I could become one. Perhaps ignorance was an advantage; there wasn’t much pressure. In fact, I never felt much pressure from my parents to become anything specific, other than an honest, hard-working, decent, spiritually-aware person.

Come to think of it, that can bring enough of its own pressure from time to time.

James Sutton, Psychologist   www.docspeak.com

  

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May 21, 2007 - Posted by | Counselors, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem

3 Comments »

  1. Doc,
    I enjoyed that poem! Makes you think! I agree the expectations that your parents had of you were the foundation that you needed to be great at whatever you chose to do!

    Like

    Comment by tobeme | May 23, 2007 | Reply

  2. First time I hear someone else ask that. At age 23, having been in increasing despair for several years, I halted my normal negative and often suicidal ideation, as it were, to realize suddenly that the elementary age child that I had been wouldn’t even have recognized what I’d become or been able to comprehend my state of mind.

    That night I had the profoundest experience of my life – a real turning point. Depression and despair gone literally overnight. And that was 25 years ago. I quickly reconnected to my childhood self, and that, for me, was the transition from youthful angst to adulthood.

    So in my experience the question “What would the child I was make of the adult I am?” is an excellent one!

    Like

    Comment by Paul Martin | May 24, 2007 | Reply

  3. Paul: An absolutely profound response. Thank you. You
    know, I sometimes put something up on my blog that
    seems to be guiding itself. This was one of those
    times.

    We can’t “fake it” with children, especially the child
    within us.

    Thanks again, so much, for your comments.

    JDS

    Like

    Comment by docspeak | May 24, 2007 | Reply


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