Each of us grow up wanting what we were taught to want. Adults teach children the very same priorities and opinions that they as parents hold. My mother loved the color pink, so she taught me to love the color pink also, and therefore I wanted pink stuff as a kid. My father loved to read, so he taught me to love books. I still have the first book I fell in love with as a kid—Half a Team by Maxine Drury.
Well respected Psychologist Erich Fromm said: Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.
When reaching adulthood, many people never stop and look at what they were taught to believe growing up so they could then decide if it’s true for their individual and unique self. Do I actually love the color pink? No. But, if I did not stop and examine my own preferences and opinions as an adult, I’d be in pink today. Do I love to read? Yes, so that lesson learned early in my life is true for me today as an adult.
Are there things in your life at this moment that you have or do because that’s what you picked up from someone else, or that’s what you were taught to have or do? Each birthday that comes along is a good time to review your own opinions, preferences, and needs. Examine if those opinions still apply to your life.
I think birthdays are special days that need reflection; to ponder on what you’ve learned the previous year and how that knowledge has aided to your wisdom. To have every birthday find you a better human being is to receive an awesome gift from life. So on your next birthday, take time to look backwards. Review your beliefs, preferences, and opinions. Make it a point to remember experiences that enhanced your love and compassion for people. Recall situations that resulted in making you stronger and more resilient. Review what every misfortune gave you in wisdom. If you do this with every passing birthday, you will age not only gracefully, but also with a wise and loving heart.
Think about it.
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