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Deep Thinking Derailed by Deep Thinking

I started on one topic, set off by some random journal-browsing. I hit a note that struck a chord, felt it resonate, then thought about my own resonation to that sentiment.

I browsed some more while thinking, then hit a topic of discussion about someone's fight with the school system over why they were going to keep their daughter out of kindergarden.

On the one hand I got the feeling that this man cared for his daughter very much and wanted to do right by her. I also got the feeling that he was a very emotional man. I sympathized with his feelings on some of the faults of the school system as it exists, and at the same time saw his short-sightedness about the causes and intentions. I read the well-worded sentences and inflammatory statements. I came away with an opinion mostly shaped.

Check here for the letter and initial comments, with more here.

Some praised him, some were sickened. Some backed him, some questioned even his parenting skills.

Me? My biggest question is the man himself. I'd want to see him in action, see him around his daughter and who else interacts with her on a daily basis. His anger clearly shows through in the letter, and I think he's often full of emotion himself. I'd hazard a guess that it affects his judgement, but I question his motives, especially with as much of the letter he spends talking about himself. I can see he wants to protect her, but it's not just the school system. That's only one piece. He even says he's scared of the world today.

He's going to try and "protect" her as long as he possibly can. From everything. For her sake, if he starts I hope he lives to see her find other support and protection, but if THIS much surrender of control is that hard ... I don't think he'll give her nearly as much free will as she'll ask for when she gets older.

I'll bet he's "the man" of his house. He's the provider, the primary decisionmaker, and is very secure in his own opinions. He probably doesn't compromise much at all, and sees things in very crisp black-and-white terms. I'll bet he likes to say he "runs a tight ship", and is very proud.

He's come to terms with the fallibility of man, but not with his own as _a_ man. He probably doesn't spend much time pondering, always doing. And he's probably carrying enough shame and guilt inside that he HAS to, or he'll be forced to deal with it.

You can read it into his words, his connotations, his objections, and his chosen examples.

I wouldn't mind shaking his hand and asking him a few questions.

I don't think he'd like me.

But then again, I know I'll want my daughter to enjoy growing up, and not be jealous of her innocence myself. I'll want to be involved in what she learns, but I also want her to learn from others who can teach more than I know. I'll want her to learn morals, but not from fear of punishment. I'll want her to be happy, but know that some days I won't be the comfort she'll seek. And I'll want her to think and have an open mind, and I know that means we won't always agree AND that sometimes I won't be right.

God willing, I will have a daughter some day. Or a son. Or both or whatever. And I intend to be the best father I can.

No rush, of course. =) I've got a lot to do first.

- Pookah


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2001 07:09 pm (UTC)
I read it.
I'll cheer and boo at the same time.

My final reaction...
is that one way of living life is no better than another.
They're different.
I think that you should be allowed to choose.
There are times in everyone's life when they can't choose for themselves...
and I don't know about ingraining things into impressionable people.
But I think the choice is important.
I'd like to talk to her.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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