Repeating History

  • Posted on January 10, 2006 at 7:19 am

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened.

– Willa Cather (1873 – 1947)

American Writer

I was getting my nails done one day in a very small intimate salon when I over heard the woman next to me complaining about her 16 year son who she has just visited in the hospital.

“I’m so angry with him!” She protested. “After all the times we’ve told him not to drink he did it anyway and was in an accident and broke his leg and his arm.”

I looked over at her pondering which of the multitude of questions running through my mind I should lead off with.

I choose “I’m sorry to eves drop, but when you were his age, did you drink with your friends?” I asked.

“Oh sure!” she smile “but that was different.

I’m sure she whole heartedly believed she could justify that in her mind, but it did surprise me that someone my age with a teenage son could be so naive.

Why do parents act so surprised when their children repeat the same trial and errors they experienced? It is part of growing up. It is part of learning how to become oneself.

If parents were more straightforward with their children and talked more forthright with them, then it’s possible their children would not have to experience the extreme challenges they often face.

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