Nurturing Thursday 36

Explaining why she started ‘Nurturing Thursday’, Becca Givens writes:
‘Our culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves. Yet, it is not possible for all of us to be above average at the same time.’

If we could then ‘Above Average’ would be the average ~ and I can’t even work out where the logical progression of that ideology is leading. The thought is ~ literally ~ depressing. But I don’t mean to spread despondency ~ after all this is ‘Nurturing Thursday’, designed to inject weekly shots of positivity into the blogosphere.

As every doting grandparent will tell you ~ each child is different and special. For instance, I am blessed with twin super~heroes and a princess:

(Yeah, I know the boys are toting weapons ~ but that’s a different debate. And I encourage them to aim at crochet cushion targets, rather than at each other’s heads. I’m not entirely successful ~ it’s a ‘man~thing’, so I’m told and I can’t argue with that. Trust me, I’ve tried.)

So how do we root this innocent wonder, where the cardboard tube from an empty toilet roll is transformed into a cuff which shoots imaginary webs at invisible ‘baddies’? Or a beeee~oootiful bracelet, encrusted with crayoned~on jewels.

Is it possible to inspire our young to attain their full potential as adults, without imposing artificially constructed standards, moving goal~posts, meaningless comparisons, which ~ we know from our own experience ~ won’t make them feel good about themselves……or others? Quite the opposite, in fact.

Clearly the current system is flawed ~ but maybe we can turn it around. In the words of William Martin :

‘Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.’

‘If you teach them to achieve
they will never be content.
If you teach them contentment
they will naturally achieve everything.’

(William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents)


The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

25 thoughts on “Nurturing Thursday 36

  1. When I read this line ” find the wonder
    and the marvel of an ordinary life.” I cried, It so touched my heart to realize this, this is what I have taught myself to do – to find the wonder and marvel of an ordinary life”. It’s been a magical journey in many ways. Thank you for this my friend.

    1. Me too, Joss. Constant striving to be extra~ordinary can only nurture dissatisfaction and craving for ‘more’, when all that we have and all that we are, is enough! πŸ™‚

  2. A great many inspiring words in this post especially the ones from William Martin.
    We all have thoughtful inspiring words. We need to put them out there. It’s the reason I enjoy Nurturing Thursday so much. Great blogger showcasing great words.
    Namaste ….

    1. Wow! Thank you, Issy, I enjoy reading the words of my sister ‘Nurturers’ ~ the echoes are amazing! And I find that looking for uplifting messages to post each week is a wonderful discipline, one in which I am learning so much πŸ™‚

      1. Sorry Jacqui, but I’m calling you on terminology here…
        “Wikipedia: Moron (psychology), a disused term for a person with a mental age between 8 and 12, and a common insult for a person considered stupid (or just a generic insult)…”
        Lack of knowledge is NOT equitable with an accident of birth (and self-flagellation is unacceptable):

      2. Apologies Deb ~ that is an extremely unfortunate auto~correct which should read ‘one in which I’m learning……’ Moron is definitely not a word I use in any context ~ but thank you for pointing it out πŸ™‚

      3. Even so, with self-deprecation being the hardest habit to break, trust me when I say “Been there.”… Aw heck, better make that “STILL there!” (LOL)

      4. LOL, no worries: )
        I was taught “When in doubt, check it out!” Bee well, πŸ˜€

      5. Me too, Deb! But with touch~screen devices such as the IPad the autocorrect function can cause trouble ~ there’s a whole website devoted to the words it substitutes. I might track it down and see if I can turn it off. Wishing you a lovely Wednesday! πŸ™‚

      6. Thank you (auto-correction is in settings>general>keyboard) and you have wonderful day as well! Although… it’s already started snowing here (and the sauna bell is ringing up a storm): so “Bon journΓ©e.” to those out in it, and “A bientΓ΄t!, Jacqui!”

  3. What precious children, and I love their costumes! I have not previously read the Parents’ Tao Te Ching, and it’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. What a wonderful focus!

  4. What beautiful Grandchildren you have Jacqueline, and what a beautiful topic you have chosen for your Nurturing Thursday.. So true are those words of William Martin… We do not teach our young children enough of the Marvels in life…
    I try teaching my Granddaughter the delights of discovering Nature, and we hold many imaginary games of play… Its a delight to see imagination at work in young children… We should all aspire to ignite their fire to find their own path in life.. not to follow in the mistakes we made by conforming to our outmoded artificial world..

    Many thanks for this wonderful post πŸ™‚ Love to you xox Sue xox

    1. Thank you, Sue, for all those wonderful comments! I love watching the children play, unselfconsciously using their imaginations. We can nurture that and learn a lot from their joyous sense of freedom, rather than making them conform to the ridiculous standards of this ‘outmoded artificial world’.

  5. Grandparents can offer such wonderful nurturing opportunities and memories — I know my only living grandparent did! I am glad you have this with yours. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    1. Thank you, Becca, I have precious memories of my grans too. It’s an interesting view from the other side, doing my best to create that excitement in my grandchildren too! πŸ™‚

  6. Love your “imperfection”! Never yet seen a sketchbook that had only a single line upon the page; besides, Perfection is an unattainable Myth.
    Who was it that said life is all about the journey, not the destination?

  7. What wonderful sentiments! And cute kids, too! This post reminded me of another quote that I think you will like: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

    I’m not a parent or grandparent, but I can imagine that this is a good way to teach children. πŸ™‚

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