My son walked in the house saying, “I know you’re going to be upset, but…” These are the statements that cause a parent to pause and pay attention. For me and particularly my son, these statements cause me to focus and relax as much as possible as often the anger does follow as he well knows. “My bike has been stolen.” We just got home and the garage door was open for less than ten minutes. I followed him out, checked around and sure enough it was gone. I asked if he left it somewhere and he said “no.” Extending as much trust as I can to a 7-year-old boy, I had to admit it was gone and being stolen just indicates we have to put our things away. It’s one of the risks of living. He took his big wheel out to play with his friends. I went about the business of prepping dinner. When the wife got home, I shared the news. She went through the same questions I did. A few minutes later our son came home on his bike. We exclaimed, “you found it” and asked “Where was it?” Evidently he left it behind the fence last night and had forgot. I sprung at the opportunity. “So your past self from yesterday stole your bike from you today.” He thought about it and smiled. I hope seed planted grows into responsibility.
Our actions or inactions set the conditions for the future. Our future selves are the recipients of the outcomes of our decisions, actions or inactions. Everything has a price an we pay the price eventually even if we think and feel it doesn’t affect us now. That’s one of the many problems of our consciousness. We are biased to seek reward now and have to learn how to see and feel the consequences of our actions. Our maturity is grounded in our ability to act in ways not having negative impacts on our future selves. This is true in our personal lives, relationships and work. The experience we gain everyday has the capacity to teach about consequences. This is true whether we observe ourselves, the effects our behavior has on others, watching the interactions of others or witnessing the interplay of opposing energies.
I hope my son learned something from this experience. He is such a helpful boy feeling his way through life. His focus is on interaction and playing with friends which likely led to him doing things away from his bike. His memory is forming and he just got carried away with the play resulting in his determination that “someone” stole his bike. That someone just happened to be himself. This leaves me thinking about what things I’ve stolen from myself through the years as I got carried away with the unfolding of the moments making up my life.
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