Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The "Tools" You Gave Your Children

This is my first attempt at a blog. My Father, Mother, Sister, Brother-in-law, Uncle, and friends all have their own blogs, so I figured what the hell I would give it a try. I have read all of theirs and I am quite impressed by them all. They all have their own unique way of expressing themselves. That is what has really enticed me to start my own. As a means of expression. Sometimes we are not able to verbalize what or how we feel about a particular idea, emotion, or event. I am not a writer by any means, but I do believe there is a certain amount of therapeutic value to it. So the following is just feeble attempt to put some of what I was thinking down on keyboard and screen (the new pen and paper) about what I read on my Dads blog titled "Teach Your Children Well". So let me predicate my post by saying that I did not write this to undue, influence, or hurt any ones feelings about situations that are presently taking place in all of our lives.

From as far back as I can remember the relationship I have had with my parents has always been based on lessons. I do not mean to say that we have not had great times laughing, playing, and frolicking about. Lord knows that we have had more than our fair share of those. We have also had our fair share of tough, hard, and even somewhat bitter times.

However, no matter the situation our parents always found time for the lesson that was being shown to us while going thru that time. It is in these times that my sister and I were given the tool bucket. What is the tool bucket you might ask? It is the 5 gallon paint bucket that is unorganized but carries every tool that you might think of. Our Dad was famous (within our circle) for always having a tool bucket. I bet that if you went into his house right now somewhere you would find a 5 gallon bucket of unorganized random tools. Although, I would also bet, if you needed a tool and went to that same bucket chances are the tool you need is in it. In fact to tell you the truth up until a few months ago I had a tool bucket of his in my garage.

Sorry back on track. This proverbial tool bucket of lessons that our parents have given us has served my sister and I very well. It is these tools that have allowed us to become good, decent, hard working people. I am not saying that we always make the right decision or that we are perfect in anyway. However, both my sister and I have always treated people like human beings regardless of race, religion, sexual preference or any other characteristic. We have always tried to make the right decisions. We have always tried to do for others unconditionally. They taught us to treat people like we would want to be treated. Neither Lexey or I have ever been the type of person to go out and treat people like crap for shits and giggles. In fact I am sure that I can speak for her when I say when we have treated someone like shit there is a certain amount of hurt and guilt that goes along with that. I know for me in a situation where I might have been crappy to someone, even if I was in the right, I usually end up apologizing for the way that I treated that person. You see I do not understand how people can do that without feeling something, but you see it all the time now-a-days. We were not raised that way. We were not given those tools.

As a young boy growing up I was always taught that it was wrong to lie. I struggled with this concept for many years in my early teens. For some reason I found that lying about things was easy. Isn't that the way of the teenager? To take the easy way out. It was the easy way up and to a point. When it gets to the point at which you must start lying your way out of your last lie it gets to be really difficult. My mother and Father new this concept very well. They told me this all the time. They would say things like "Don't you understand it is better to tell the truth even if it hurts or even if it gets you into trouble. Don't you understand that if you lie to me about this I am going to find out." As a teenage boy I was sitting there saying "yeah right how could they possibly find out." Well now as a father I understand why they told me that they would find out. They already knew. They have already been down that road themselves. They had been down that road with their parents. They probably knew what I was going to say before I said it. However, it did not stop them from letting me make my own choice as to what I was going to do. Sure they could have stopped me mid-sentence and told me that it did not matter what I said. They did not. They let me tell my tale. Why? Why would they let me go on and tell my tale knowing that I was lying all the while because they had already told me that it was my choice and that I was going to have to be accountable. It was my choice.

You see it is that one little word that my Father and Mother taught me about that is probably the single most important life lesson that one can learn. Choice. God has given us choice. Some know it as Free Will. God has given us CHOICE. However, he doesn't give us this without conditions. The condition that God has attached to Free Will is accountability. He has said to us go ahead and make your own decisions, do what you will, but be ready to stand up and be accountable for it. This is why there are things like morality and law. These are the things that hold us accountable in this life and in the next.

I guess what I am trying to say is that my parents raised good, decent, hardworking human beings. They gave us the tools in which will help us build a great life. We are not perfect. We do not claim to be. Our parents cannot expect that we will be. Our parents should only expect that when we make decisions we use the tools that they gave us to make the right decision. However, if the decisions that we make hurt and effect people in a negative way that we accept responsibility and are accountable for the choices that we have made. This does not make the choices that we made easier or less painful for those we hurt or ourselves for that matter. We are solely responsible and accountable for those choices we have made in this life. When I make choices that are tough and not exactly popular, but choices I think are best for myself I revert back to my tool bucket. It is those tools that I use to make it through the times in life that are the most difficult. I do not place blame or fault, but rather I accept responsibility.

Let me close by saying this and I speak solely for myself. I know the decisions that I have made and the way things happened have left a trail of hurt, distrust, disloyalty, and a whole dictionary full of adjectives that describe pain and suffering. Not only for those that I love and are close to me, but for myself as well. It will probably take a lifetime for me to heal or triage these wounds that I have inflicted on so many. I say triage because wounds like these sometimes never heal. We will survive, We will get better. I am going to work hard and pray everyday to become a better Human...Man...Son...Brother...Father...Friend...and someday Husband


irvmarmik said...

I have a new tool in my bucket these days, a barmop for my tears. I love you, Vic.

mom said...

Look at your big screen looking ass!
Shit, oh dear!
(that's a hummongus moniter,dude)

All kidding aside-
Nice post and nice blog.
love ya!

Lexey said...

Victor, thank you so much for writing this. Thank you for including me in it and for helping to express thoughts that I couldn't seem to articulate, but you did so beautifully. I love you so much. I appreciate all of the support that you have shown me. Please keep writing. You're good at it and I really love hearing what you think. (who knew???) :)

I miss you.