It occurred to me that,as much as we’d like to believe many things we do are altruistic, there is ALWAYS something that we gain from actions we enjoy.
In no way am I trying to make the unselfish acts seem selfish. The phrase that made me even take a look at this subject was,” If it didn’t work for them they would stop doing it.” This is common advice to young parents with kids who have tantrums, and other bad habits, which ALL kids experience at one time or another.
I asked myself, “Why have I done child day care for 35 years?”
My first answer was,”I just love hugs and happiness.” Then my inner psychologist took over.
“Come now, you can do better than that!” That inner psychologist of mine is pushy.
“Well, I enjoy making a difference in a child’s early life.”
“Oh pelease Susan. That is what THEY get from it. What it is your true reward?”
“Just what do you want from me you psycho pest? A person can be just so deep ya know!” This was an internal argument. I’m fairly certain I am not schizophrenic :-).
Then it all seemed so clear. The school projects, children’s parade and cookie houses at Christmas, ” I hope very much to be remembered.”
“Bingo! Inner psychologist over and out.”
Taking this new wisdom further, I considered the artists and sculptors who leave something behind made of matter. The sculptor of Mt. Rushmore surely was a patriot and historian BUT I’ll bet he too wanted to be remembered. What’s his name?
Is this why we have kids? To leave our seeds behind?
I believe somewhere in every parent this ruminates. C’mon! By the time we are in mid-life, don’t we really think our own life-long cultivated philosophies are the best?
If they didn’t work for us by then, we would stop using them, wouldn’t we?
And we always blamed the teenagers for thinking that they knew everything!