sleeplessinmississippi

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GUILT – OUR WORST ENEMY

on February 15, 2017

Guilt. Here it is again. It is a frequent companion. I say “Here I am watching television when I should be doing the laundry” or “Why am I eating again when I am not even hungry?”. Here comes guilt. So I looked up the word “guilt”. It is defined as “a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong.”

Like most of my friends who, like me, are retired, I was raised that “idleness is the devil’s workshop”.  Even during summer vacations from school, my sister and I had a list of chores to be completed each day while our parents were at work.  The list would be held to the refrigerator door by a magnet.  I suspect that Mama knew  we goofed off most of the day, and then hurriedly did the chores just prior to her return to the house. In any event, the chores had to be completed, or we would answer to Daddy.  Usually, back in the dark ages of my childhood, a “grounding” would be the likely punishment. In other words, except for church activities, you had to stay around the house. Be that as it may, I understand now the 2 reasons for this daily hand-written list: #1, Mama hated housework too and #2, if we were busy, we would stay out of mischief.  I am joking (I think) about #1, but there was and is an element of truth in #2.  As I have gotten older, and have observed children, I realize that the most important thing about the list was a third reason and that was its importance in teaching us responsibility.

Responsibility.  Learning responsibility begins in the home.  If a child is taught that when he gets a toy out, he is responsible for putting that toy away, this should spill over into his adult life (hopefully) where he learns that if he doesn’t pick up his toys, neither will his wife pick up his toys.

 


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