Thursday, November 18, 2004

Keeping Mum

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
George Washington (1732 - 1799)
Reveal not every secret you have to a friend, for how can you tell but that friend may hereafter become an enemy. And bring not all mischief you are able to upon an enemy, for he may one day become your friend.
Saadi (1184 - 1291)

I have been looking at quotes to affirm my beliefs lately. I think it is because there are so many lessons in life that I want to impart to my children and it seems like they are learning them from experience instead of from me.

I admire my daughter's honesty with her friends. At the same time, it breaks my heart when these very friends uses her honesty against her. I think she reveals too much of herself too soon. It is refreshing to meet someone like her. She is so much like her father. You know where you stand with them at any given period of time. No pretenses and false honesty. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and speak their minds without apology. My daughter is often direct and to the point that she comes out as a tactless person at times. Those who knows her well will gladly defend her and will tell off anybody who says she is without tact. I can't be prouder of her. A lot of her cohorts are not ready for someone like her. Some of them plunder her mind and twist her words. I have seen her reel in pain many times because she trusted her friends and bared her soul to them. I do not think that her blatant honesty is a flaw. As you can see by the quotations above, people like her had been around for ages and sages have warned them that being too honest can backfire. I think her honesty is a liability only because some of the people she trusted had betrayed her confidence. I think she is ahead of her time and will reap the the joys of having this virtue in the future. I used to be like her, I valued freedom of speech and been candid to people. After a few painful incidents I started being selective of those I will divulge my extreme opinions and the intimate details of my life. Sometimes I think of the change in me as loss of innocence but I also think I changed to minimize the traumas of dramas in my life. This suits me just fine but I want my daughter to retain her honesty because someday she will meet someone who is worthy of this amazing trait.      

Unlike my daughter, my son is sort of tight lipped. He seems to instinctively know how to look and listen first before he leaps. He also has a way of keeping people at bay by not divulging a lot of information about himself. I do not think it is a sign of maturity rather, it is an inborn characteristic. Where he got that gene, is a conundrum to me. I see that this approach to life has a lot of merit. He has a lot less stressful existence and seems to keep relationhips longer. Is this a male trait? I don't think it is because my husband is the most forthright person you will ever meet. I think my son is guarded in a positive way. I do not think he is heeding the philosophers of past either. I think some people are lucky to have that disposition. I envy my son's candidness when time seems to be appropriate and his silence when he feels that it is warranted.

Am I partial to any of my children? No, I love them both immensely. They are like night and day in temperament but that what make them more lovable. Their individuality. I love my daughter for her blatant honesty and I love my son for his cautiousness. 

Am I contradicting myself? Maybe, Iam. Isn't that what life is all about? Contradiction and  paradox? Isn't it wonderful that when you explore a topic that you think has only two sides, you realize that there are hundreds of school of thoughts related to that subject? (That is not sarcasm, it is downright enthusiasm!). Why is it when you pose a question, you get no answer but tons of other questions? Ah, the curse of the thinkers. That is why thinkers procrastinate a lot, they can't make up their mind on which school of thought they are going to expound on. Schizophrenics have more peace of mind than those who can't help but think! Or are some thinkers schizos? And the vicious cycle begins!!!!     

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