November 2013: Life Hardens You…

As “the scene changes”, life hardens us in stages, in ways that only our friends can appreciate. As babies we are sensitive to touch, to light, to being held by strangers. We are taught at an early age to beware of strangers, not to talk to them. As we grow, we begin to discern whether a stranger is a new friend to be made, or eye contact to avoid.

Fortunately for many of us, as children, we faced few direct personal hardships that forced us to develop a coarse outer shell. I often find myself faced with children whose eyes tell of despair. No, I am not talking of the wailing for luxury or supplemental goods not garnered. I tell of hurt that seemed to have been handed down over the centuries, like a timeline of travels that will not reach a destination; and this is known even at the fragile age of (say) seven.

As such children grow, they slowly learn, through trial and error, the beauty within life, particularly if they encounter strangers who become friends and try to guide them on a different path. Unfortunately growing in this way, in reverse, so to speak, to learn beauty so late in life, to having missed giggling over soap bubbles under sun showers, can set an adult on a course where each of life’s future obstacles easily pierces through the outer shell.

So, instead of being hardened, this person is being knocked down, easily defeated by obstacles easily overcome by those who grew up protected with the illusion that parents and family create for children. The unnatural progression from hard child forward produces pain in whatever milieu this adult lands.

Our goal as adults is to help children enjoy and learn beauty at a very young age, so they too can slowly harden as they age.

Are you up for the task?

Hardening Guichard
In life we meet people who pass wisdom to you in such a way that you eagerly digest it. Even though you were unsure how to immediately apply it, you knew to hold the words and deeds. 

Earl John Powell. I met Earl my second semester in college. He was a well-respected visiting brother who showed great compassion while expecting results. His words, mantra if I may, was, “Either you pay now, or you pay later.” Over the years when faced with swallowing the bitter pills that life offers, I always choose to pay now. Check out the work he is doing on behalf of his father’s musical legacy

Charmaine Bennett-Cadet. Yes, my wife hardened me in ways that I never expected. Love is one of those “things” like friendship that cannot truly be defined. You simply know it when you experience it. In marriage, we get a greater good and within it, we face various obstacles. We get a responsibility that manifests itself in many ways, in that you take the hurt so that the other person doesn’t. If you aren’t HARD, you are not cut out for marriage.

A season of giving, not just thanks but of yourself, your compassion, your wisdom. Help each other grow and life will return the favor. As usual, connect you and yours to me fora Real Estate need.