People disappoint me and though I am told to forgive them I am not sure that I do it very well.
My mother tells a story about how I went through a phase where I would introduce myself to other children and then hit them.
She says I was around three or four and that I explained the hitting by saying I was getting the other kids first.
Maybe this explains my fondness for preemptive strikes or maybe it is just one of the embarrassing things kids do for no good reason.
I don’t really know but I can also tell you I went through a period of time where I bit other children.
Yeah, little Jack Steiner was the peachy kid who bit and hit other kids.
Today that probably would have gotten me banned and or exiled from playgroups and school but I was born in ’69 and a child of the seventies.
We seventies children are a different breed and frankly tougher than most.
Different Is Always Wrong
I am a fighter and a scrapper by nature.
Though age and maturity have helped to dull the edge of my sword the fire inside burns as brightly now as it ever has.
I am still fearless and willing to wade headlong into fights without much regard for what people will think. I like to blame that upon being a Taurus but today someone told me it is because I am an asshole.
Ask me if I think that is true and I’ll shake my head and say it is not. I can be one but it is not the word most people would use to describe me.
Unless you are speaking about lately and even then I am not entirely certain if it would be accurate.
But old Jack Steiner is a father and that comes with big responsibilities which is why I have taken some time to think about whether this description is true or not.
It is not because I am worried someone will tell my children that their father is a bad guy but because I think about what sort of behavior my children see me exhibit.
I think much of it has to do with the different is always wrong attitude I have seen exhibited from so many different people and how I respond to that.
What Different Is Always Wrong Means
It seems to me like people have become intolerant of being offended and angry about being asked to deal with opinions that are different from their own.
There seems to be an unwillingness to look the world through different eyes and to say others can have a different experience.
I am not a sheep or a Sneetch and I don’t have to agree with you nor do I need for you to always agree with me.
But that seems to chap some hides and I don’t understand it.
One of the greatest gifts blogging has given me is the opportunity to find clarity in my thoughts and ideas.
Sometimes it comes during a letter to my children when I write about life and my thoughts. There is a discovery in which I realize my belief about XYZ isn’t founded upon logic, reason or rational thought.
It is just an arbitrary decision based upon random circumstance and I am forced to consider whether I want to pass it along to my children or reconsider my position.
This is where I appreciate challenging my thoughts and ideas. It is where I don’t mind speaking with someone whose perspective is different because there is an opportunity for learning and growth.
What is funny to me is that some people say it is like I am shopping at some bazaar looking for an opinion to claim as my own.
Sometimes I think about asking them if they are familiar with the Marketplace of Ideas but most of the time I don’t say anything.
Most of the time I don’t tell them how very opinionated I am or explain that I don’t think every idea or group is as moral, reasonable, rational or ethical as others.
I teach my children to be judgmental.
I want them to consider who they spend their time with and why.
Not because we are better than others because we are all human.
But some people get you in to trouble and cause issues and others don’t.
Wrong place, wrong time is a bad idea for all of us and we do our best to avoid it.
It is Ok To Disagree
I talk to the children about it being ok to agree to disagree and explain the benefits of learning how to go along to get along.
Part of me laughs at the hypocrisy because I am not as good at this as I want to be. I am not good at hiding my feelings, if I don’t like you chances are you will know it.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t be civil or that I will only be around people and things that I like.
A Few Random Thoughts
Maybe it is in Generations- They Are All Gone Now but I am not entirely sure.
It is a thought, an unformed idea that is rolling around the back of my mind. It feels like water in the palm of my hand and if I squeeze too tightly it will run between my fingertips and I won’t ever figure out what I am trying to grab.
Those people who came before me they knew who they were and they did their best to live that way.
Maybe it is just a lingering desire to speak with them about that which was and that which is.
Maybe it is to thank them again for all I learned from them and for showing me how to be a father and a man.
Or maybe it something entirely different.
Different is not always wrong