Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Parenting Tip/Life-Hack: Focus On What We Have In Common

Me with our sweet baby Zu, a few years ago.

I know it's completely stepping out on a limb to think that I could/should offer a parenting tip: I have SO much to learn yet myself.

BUT, after Zu came home yesterday and shared this experience she had while riding her bike in our neighborhood . . . I just had to.

And in my defense, I have had a few profound life experiences adopting 6 kiddos and living on a deserted island with "strangers" for 67 days--experiences that have taught me one SUPER IMPORTANT LIFE/PARENTING LESSON/LIFE-HACK:

Whenever you meet someone--no matter where or how you come to meet--focus on what you have in common.

Find the common ground.

Even if the only thing you have in common is that you are both human beings on Planet E at this unique space/time: find the common ground.

Your relationships, and the health of our societies, depend on us finding common ground one with another.

I promise you--try it for a day and you will see what I mean: FIND THE COMMON GROUND.

Life is beautiful when you connect with other people. And what I mean by that is this: truly connect. FIND A CONNECTION between yourself and others. Because it's there. You have a connection to every living being on the planet. I promise.


Our kiddos, minus Elder Meehan (he was already on his service mission).
This was taken at a "Kidday" at his work. Cool work, huh?

PS: To the teenage boys who stopped our daughter yesterday on her bike and said, "At least we aren't black"--I pray that you never ever have people turn things that are beautiful about you into some snap negative statement. Because you WOULD BE LUCKY to be born like our daughter. She is the most incredible young person we know. And sadly, you are creating a world where people DIVIDE instead of join--which means, most likely, that adults in your world see your DIFFERENCES as NEGATIVE. And that makes me feel sorry for you. (Hopefully, I'm just being extremely sensitive and you spoke without thinking . . . in which case, you are teenagers afterall. I can give some wiggle room for wonky behavior.)

But quite frankly, our family refuses to live in a world of "OTHERS" and "DIFFERENCE"--the world we live in UNITES people, not divides them.

So there. 

And furthermore, if I ever run into you in our neighborhood, you're going to learn this lesson from me directly. You may get to define the world you live in--but NOT the world my family lives in.