Saturday, 24 May 2008

another ponder

What is a positive tradition or godly character trait that you learned from your extended family that you hope to pass down to your own family?
Given that last week's thought to ponder was about negative traits, I shouldn't be too surprised that this week's is about the positive! This one is slightly different though as it includes the extended family rather than just the generational line, so I think that this about seeing the positive wherever you find it and then encouraging your own family to emulate those behaviours.

Of course, this then raises the issue of just what the extended family is!? As the "extended" family is such a subjective term I think that I will leave that one alone and concentrate on the question that was actually asked!! As I think about this subject I begin to realise that it is surprisingly hard to think positively about myself because as many people will know - it is easier to focus on the negative rather than the positive.

I also think that it is quite hard to unpick what you do and where it came from because I think that if we are fortunate we are molded by more than one person so I think that it is not a case of identifying one tradition or character trait that you can actually pin down to one person! If we take the case of education as a positive tradition, my parents have always encouraged me to study, my teachers have opened my mind, my classmates challenged my thinking, and so on.

But, taking the same example, I can say that Pops (Dad's Dad) is the person that comes to mind when I think of life-long education because right up to the end he always had a pile of books from the public library - a pile that was usually evenly balanced between fiction and non-fiction as he was always interested in learning more, knowing more, and understanding more. I can picture him now, sat in his chair, pipe in his mouth, by the window with the books stacked up on the windowsill so that he could read in comfort whilst being able to look out at his beloved garden.

Along with many other positive traits, I hope, this is one that I would like the younger members of my family to absorb. This constant interest in the world around us, this eagerness to understand history, investigate science, delve into philosophy, in fact - anything! Just because compulsory education ends at 16 it doesn't mean that we should stop learning, but how many of us pick up a book that's non-fiction, how many of us watch something on television that's not drama!? (and, more to the point, enjoy it!)


Denise said...

Such a lovely post.

C said...

Interesting question! I would have to say social responsibility. Aiming to improve the world, whether it's on a large scale or simply helping people one-on-one. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when people feel entitled to receive and don't contribute to their family/society/etc. I hope my son does work he feels is important, positive, and helpful to someone else -- whether it's paid as a career or unpaid in free time.

Alice Teh said...

I concur with Denise. This is a lovely post.

Maisie said...

I love the thought of a life long education. We're trying to make learning a natural part of life for our kids. We love watching educational TV shows like on the History channel and the National Geographic channel. I should do more reading though.