Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No! No! No!

We have a new favorite word around our house this week. Well, actually two. Mo, or no, depending on Emmett's mood. He is so close to being 2 and boy can we tell. He says no to almost everything, or "Mo", depending. We try to find ways to redirect him instead of saying no all the time to him, but sometimes it's not possible.
So I got to thinking about why it is that children start saying no right around the age of 2. As they realize they have power to control a bit of their lives, they test that at every opportunity. Sometimes they will say no, just to say it. As adults we try to give our children and grandchildren opportunities to grow, or to learn, and we try to keep them safe. We try to give them guidelines and set boundaries based on what they can and can't handle, or what is safe. They will often times say "no" to our limits, or freedoms, depending on their sense of what is fair, or what they want. It made me think about how often we say "no" to God, when he sends us guidelines, or opportunities to grow and learn. Or even the opportunity to learn where we came from, and where we go after this life. Most often though, it has to do with a selfish desire to gain "something" in spite of the fact that we know deep in our hearts that it may be unwise, unhealthy or destructive for us. As adults we have freedoms that are not always good for us. We see more and more the push to get society to accept certain behaviors as okay or normal, based on what is desirable to those pushing these at us. They behave like tantrum throwing toddlers, and want us to accept their behavior while calling us bigoted for believing in a higher, more spiritual law. The very sad dimension to this is that when we live in conflict with what is moral or right, we throw away the opportunity for something more precious, more permanent and lasting, satisfying and sure, than any earthly, physical or temporal pleasure will ever give us. Sometimes, we just have to say no to ourselves to gain the better more peaceful way. When we live as we are supposed to, we don't have to push our agenda in anyone's face. We have a peace of mind that can't be bought.
There are times that we will have to stand up for right and say no to those who push too hard. Let's not be afraid to do that.
For now, I get to decide whether Emmett really means "Mo", or "no".

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