The new generation and its—well, for want of a better word—new ways, can be hard to deal with. Now what is the word I am looking for here? Independent? Casual? Callous? The line between these is somewhat thin, isn’t it?
That “let-me-be” attitude does spell self-confidence, which is something to be happy about. But sometimes, it is the way it is conveyed to a parent that can hurt. Instead of a ‘Why do you want to know,” when a parent asks when you would be back home, a gentle “I am not sure,” is so much nicer. You have still drawn a subtle boundary line, letting your parent know that you would like not to be questioned, and yet, you have maintained respect toward them.
I was thinking about this, and drew up a list of things to know the difference between. Taking the time to ponder over them can heal relationships; not only with others, but with yourself.
I would love to hear what you can add to the list. Here is mine:
Caring and clinging: those who truly care know how to give space. Those who cling only suffer and suffocate. Kahlil Gibran said, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” Wise words.
Selfishness and self-care: sometimes, it is important to pay attention to your own needs before you can nurture others. Women, in particular, easily feel guilty for not doing enough for their loved ones. The self-neglect slowly expresses itself in negative ways.
A foodie and a glutton: a person who enjoys good food is a person who knows how to savor life. But let food not become an obsession. An ancient text said, “We dig our graves with our own teeth.” So true.
Being alone and lonely: Being alone can be healing and calming. Being lonely can eat into you. If you feel the symptoms of loneliness, reach out and seek help.
Ambitious and aggressive: an obvious one. The line is often easy to cross, and once we start wanting to achieve at the cost of other peoples’ progress and happiness, there is no telling where the avarice might lead. The key is to take time to introspect and self-correct.
Being candid and being hurtful: should you tell a friend or loved one that you hated their creative work or know that they are going to fail? Though the answer to this is always subjective and depends on what the situation demands, it is important to pause before you say something that has the potential to hurt.