Hey parents, this is for you. What means more to you, image or happiness?
You want the biggest house on the best street in the best suburb.
You want the marque car, and it just has to shine, shine, shine.
You want to be seen in the right places with the right people.
That is what success is all about, isn’t it?
You want your children to go to the best schools. Not necessarily the schools that are best for your individual child, but the schools that make you seem more successful. The schools that feed your ego.
You want your spouses to look like they stepped from the pages of a magazine. Do you school them in how to behave? Do you have them practice vacuous social behaviour in front of a mirror? Do they always need to wear the latest fashion, sport the most expensive of accessories?
Are your spouses ornaments to your self-image?
Are your children?
Do you forbid them from choosing their own style? From expressing themselves? Do you allow them to develop friendships or guide them toward those you deem most suitable?
Are you forcing your ego, your image, your personality, your views, your dreams, your opinions and goals and beliefs of success upon them?
Your image is just that. Image. If this is what guides you, then you lack substance. You lack strength. You are merely a sheep. A slave to an image, to falseness; you are the epitome of fake.
A leader is not a sheep. A leader does not care about image. A leader is a person who has the strength to stand tall above the masses, who has the courage to admit his or her failures and faults; to learn from them, step away from vanity and challenge life, embrace change, make their own path, accept differences and lead by example.
A leader cares about the wellbeing of others over themselves.
A leader respects individuality and nurtures it. For a leader knows that we are all pieces of a glorious whole and when allowed to find our own strengths we can work together to change the world.
Change does not come from ego and image. It comes from the courage to be different.
A good leader cares nothing about image. A good leader knows that image does not equal success.
Being true to what lies deep within equals success.
An image is but a reflection in a mirror and can be shattered. It has no depth. It is fragile.
Don’t turn your spouses, your children, your friends into fractured shards of your own reflection.
A good parent understands their children are individuals. One may be a quiet child who loves books, and maths and science and computers. The other may be artistic and free-spirited. One may be good at study, the other not.
Do they need to go to the same schools? Why not send each child to what best suits them as the person they are born to be? Why not give them the best opportunity to become themselves? Give each of them the environment that is right for them as the little blossoming person they are.
One may do best in a rigid private school; another would bloom in an alternative educational environment.
They are individuals. The wrong environment, the wrong school for the child, could permanently damage them.
It is not about the reputation of the schools and how that reputation reflects upon how you want to be perceived – it is about recognising and respecting who this little person is and placing them in the care of those best trained to nurture that magical glowing seedling of a something within.
That is how they will be happy.
That is how they become self-assured.
That is how they become confident.
That is how they will develop their own healthy self-image.
That is how they become admired.
That is how they will succeed.
Forcing them to be carbon copies or you, or adornments to your own self-image risks ultimately destroying your child.
Look at the individual.
Not at what the Joneses are doing.
Do you want to be the best parent?
Understand the uniqueness of your child and tend to his or her needs.
Be a leader – stuff the Joneses!
Substance and happiness matter more than image.
Forcing square pegs into round holes is what ultimately causes unhappiness; it is what breaks people; it is what creates a distorted sense of identity; increases the incidence of depression, and for the genetically sensitive, can damn them to the curse of BPD.