411 Focus

First, thanks for the love, respect, cooperation... then the meal

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils dorothynevils@gmal.com

Better Us than Them

There are two of everything, us and them, and, like everything, the terms are fluid. If your family piled into the car to take that trip for a Thanksgiving meal, you and all therein, front seat or back, were “us.” An erratic driver with a car full of passengers was “them,” and a shriek from the “us” car goes, “Look at ‘them’! Idiots!

Once you arrived at the “house of good foods,” the assemblage of kinfolk and friends became “us,” even if the “idiots,” still unrecognized (Thank goodness!) , were seated at the same table! They were now us. The magic is in “the changing of the hats.”

So what’s that got to do with anything, especially Thanksgiving?

Last year I wrote about the Thanksgiving lie that had been pressed into our “truth reservoir” since we were mere children, and in our ancestors’ for as far back as most of us can trace our lineage.

This year it seems that the storm rages on. Who are we? Who are they? Is there one recognizable “we” that is different from a separate “they”? Or, as in the opening paragraph, do we become they at any given time? Does each of us decide who we are simply by our behavior? Can you be whoever you decide to be? If so, how do you make that decision? What other people help?

“Us” is the preferred group. It signifies acceptance: You fit in. You may recall a popular song by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, “The In Crowd,” where all kinds of “plusses” were rated. “Them” describes those on the outside. The trick is deciding what “in” means to you. Who helps to make that decision?

We know already that history lies – the holiday we just celebrated is a cruel lie – but there are all sorts of other lies that need to be righted before we, especially our children, can make the distinction between “us” and “them” for themselves. The most important truth for them is what they learn at home.

As a child’s “primary teacher,” the parent must begin with an audio-visual of love. Love, caring must be evident day in and day out. The child’s care must be a cooperative effort. There should be no doubt that it is a part of a unit, part of a family with similar values. Its parents must be models of cooperation, and it must feel that each member of the household is a part of a unit.

There should be no fighting, no stripping of the other’s dignity, no dishonesty... As it grows, it should not feel like a bargaining chip, or a tug-toy between two foamy mouths, but a part of a unit that, even when there is a disagreement, remains as one.

These are some things that we take too lightly when we have children, but how we fill our role as parents will frame “us and them” for those children. Raised in a home where each parent respects the other, the child has a model by which to decide who it wants to be: Respectable, contributing member of society… or riff-raff, gang-bangers, others-of-the street…”

My money says the choice will be us over them… right on through adulthood. Let us give thanks for that!

Story Posted:11/26/2017

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