Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet, smart, silly...and strong

About a week ago I started teaching Sage what I call the "winning combination."  To be truly successful in life, I explained, you must feel good about yourself and the way you conduct your life.  Money and beauty will only get you so far, I continued.  In most cases, you can not take credit for those "attributes" anyway.  Focus on character and integrity, knowledge and intelligence, and developing a good sense of humor.  These characteristics evolve over a lifetime and will carry you much farther. 

A couple of days ago Sage went with me to an auto parts store here in Corpus Christi.  I'll save you all the details, but I had killed our F250 Diesel's main battery and needed a jump box to start it up again.  I explained what had happened to the salesperson, and that we are camping in a primitive, remote area.  He recommended a product and I bought it.  David took it out of the box when I returned to camp and discovered (much to my disappointment) that I had bought a battery charger, not a jump box.  Two totally different animals.  The battery charger PLUGS IN to electricity.  The jump box is a stand-alone 12v battery.  The next day I returned the charger to the auto parts store...and Sage was with me again.  The same salesperson was there, too.  He was rude -- beyond the normal snarkiness I have come to expect from auto parts stores.  I explained why this product was not useful to us but he cut me off with "did you take this out and use it?????"  Well, I answered, we did in fact take it out of the box but we could not use it.  You can't plug it into A SAND DUNE.  Within moments, the product was returned, I had a new battery and heavy-duty jumper cables, and Mr. Snarky had loaded it into my truck for me.  It was not over for me, though.

This was an opportunity to teach Sage about another component of our "winning combination" -- strength.  At some point in your life, someone will try to make you feel bad about yourself.  Whether it is because you are pretty, intelligent, enthusiastic, creative, adventurous, shy -- whatever -- someone somewhere will pounce on your vulnerabilities.  Don't let them, I told her.  Be proud of all that you are, Sage.  Be nice even when others treat you badly.  Be smart when others do stupid things.  Be silly, even if you look like a spaz.  And above all, be strong.  Stand up for yourself, NO MATTER WHAT.  Do not be anyone's doormat...

You might be bristling at the way I talk to my little girl.  I know, she's only 2.  That is not too young to start directing a child's moral compass.  I want her to be respectful as well as respectable; wise and yet seeking deeper and higher levels of wisdom; carefree but not careless; and confident without conceit.  I'll let you know how she turns out...

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