I have been meaning to write about this for a while now. Each week I play in a regular game of pickup basketball. After the games we retreat to the steam room where we engage in all sorts of macho nonsense. Or should I say there is a lot of storytelling going on and not all of it is believable or nice.
One of the guys that I play with is having problems with his teenage son. I don’t know all the details and it is not really my business but if the man is who I think he is the problem is him. You can’t be a friend to your childen until they grow up, try to be their buddy and you set yourself up for a problem.
Let’s cut to the chase here. The man told his son that if he (son) disappeared he wouldn’t notice. What a horrible thing to say. When I heard it I considered punching him in the mouth because it sickened me to hear it. I understand fighting between parents and siblings, my parents and I went through it. I expect to deal with it as a parent, but I promise that my child will never hear that out of my mouth.
To make a long story longer I asked him if he meant it and he said yes. And then I asked him what he thought people’s reactions would be if he suddenly disappeared and he said that no one would care because the world doesn’t care about people.
And I realized that he was in a tremendous amount of pain. And my anger softened a little. I still cannot accept saying anything like that to a child, but in context it made more sense. While I sat there schvitzing I wondered to myself what would happen if I suddenly disappeared. I made it an exercise of sorts, concentric circles of relationships.
First I considered what would happen if my blog suddenly disappeared. Would there be any sort of outcry, would people wonder or would they just shrug their shoulders and move on.
Then I thought about the people at the office. If I left for lunch and never returned would it make a difference
That followed with considering how my friends would react if I was suddenly removed from their lives.
And then finally I thought about my family and the impact it would make upon them.
The answer was and is that I am important to people. Not that it has ever been a problem for me. I don’t have self esteem issues, but I think that it is healthy to consider these things and remind ourselves that we matter and that what we do impacts the people we love and care about.
It is a good feeling to know that you belong to someone and that you are loved.
It is too bad that so many people have problems feeling this way.