Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

Things That Drove Your Mother Crazy!

Things that drove your mother crazy and are now driving you nuts

  • A new bottle of milk opened when the old one has half an inch left in the bottom and is still in date.
  • The new  butter opened, when there is still at least one slice of bread left in the old one; really what were the kids thinking?
  • The folded washing that miraculously reappears in the laundry, still folded.

I remember how upset my mum used to get when I did any of these things. I recall her trying to explain to me how to clean up as I cooked. I appreciated the education, but never understood her frustration, until now.

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It is natural to want to change those around us to do life the way we want it done. We can say its for their own good, that they need to learn to do it right, but our right isn’t always going to be their right.

The process of moulding our world to suit what we need and want and what makes us feel comfortable often spills out into the world around us. When we ask other cultures, religions or socioeconomic groups to do it our way, or we try to accommodate their ways, we very rarely bring about lasting change. Really, will Clive Palmer ever take the moral high road and pay his staff entitlements from the money he syphoned out of his company before going under just because we nag him about it? Unlikely! It’s not fair, but he doesn’t care or understand how they feel.

So, as I open up that butter container and my first instinct is to complain, I have to consider why? Will nagging the kids really make a difference? Is this really all about me? Sure, I need to educate my kids and share my point of view, but forcing them to see it my way won’t bring lasting change because my kids don’t yet understand or have empathy for my point of view and probably wont until they experience it for themselves. (It wasn’t until I had my own house and my own children that most of what my mum nagged me about ever started to make any sense.)

As a society, we seek to change people and cultures without fully understanding what they are all about and what matters to them. We impose our crazy little ideals on them (because when people do it differently it drives us nuts), but it isn’t until they experience what we are talking about, that they can begin to understand and vice versa.

You can’t tell a domestic abuse victim to leave, she doesn’t see the world like you do. You can’t tell another religious culture what to believe, they don’t feel it and haven’t experienced it. You can’t tell your kids to clean their room (well you can, but that doesn’t mean they will when they leave home), they have to see why it benefits them to have it tidy; and if they don’t, well that’s ok, I still have a messy room because it isn’t a priority for me ;). It’s April and I only just took my Christmas tree down; what’s the rush!

What is more important is understanding why we feel the way we do. Changing others isn’t the goal or even within our control, changing ourselves can be.

What things drive you crazy?


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