Another week and another dose of wisdom from the man Adam is officially calling my boyfriend. While there is no reason for Adam to feel threatened, I do feel like Dennis Prager has become an integral part of my life and daily routine.
The ultimate issues hour last week was asking the question 'what is the mirror of a person’s character'. Prager explains the mirror of the body is a physical mirror and the mirror of the mind is writing. He says that the mirror of character is not what you think, but is how you act. Actions are an expression of character. Another mirror of how you act is how people react to you. If people are constantly falling away from you then that is sign that your character may be flawed. He also asked if people care about their character. Most people care about their looks, but he argues that vast number of people probably don’t care if they are a good person or not. He thinks most people are more preoccupied with being successful, making a living, having good a life, being good looking, being popular and having fun than they are about being good. To be able to be a good person you have to think about it all the time. It’s a constant preoccupation just as much as looking good preoccupies most people.
When I first got home from the hospital after my ordeal I was constantly searching for my purpose. In the end I decided to stop asking questions and just try to live the best life I could. I am one of those people that has become preoccupied with being a good person. One caller said he believed 80% of people want to be good, but their perception of being good is a heck of a lot different than his. He claimed people can justify anything they want long as it goes in their favor. I felt that man was speaking my mind. I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’m far from it, but I try to be good every single day. I try to do what is right, I try to always tell the truth, and maintain my integrity. I try to stay out of the gossip at work and not make fun of people. Do I fail at times? Yes, but I am constantly thinking about it and trying to improve.
Doing what you know is right isn't always easy. Just last week I was at work talking to two people when they started to make fun of another co-worker. It made me feel awful. I didn't join in, but I was present in the conversation and it made me feel so bad just to be associating with them. What they were saying was immature anyway and I'm pretty sure the person they were talking about heard their name mentioned. I don’t try to be popular at work for this very reason. I try to be nice to everyone, but I’ve found there are so many people who are lacking good character that is it really hard to find many friends. In the same way, I also find that being a good person has allowed people to walk over me. As I try to always do the right thing I also try to be nice to everyone and sometimes that opens the doors for people to take advantage me. I really struggle with standing up for myself and others when I think there is wrong doing. Like at work I said nothing instead of standing up and saying something. Adam has no problem standing up for what is right, but sometimes that gets perceived as him being a jerk. So does being good only mean doing good and never standing up for what is good? I don’t think so, but I think standing up for what it is good is even harder than being good. At least it's what I find to be more of a struggle.
Prager mentions there are more books in developing your abdomen than there are developing your character. He says that being good also means how you behave in the car when no one is around. It made me think of the lady I called a name earlier today for cutting me off. See? I told you I'm not perfect. He mentions that if you ask people if they are a good baseball players most will say no. If you ask a man if they are good business man then they are usually pretty honest and objective in their response. Yet, when he went on the street and asked people if they were good, every single one said yes. Is everyone really good though? Goodness is the most important area of one’s life and the aspect people are least critical of.
Prager says the secularization of society has coincided with the decline in character development. I'd have to agree. Prager mentioned that the saying in the Old Testament of, “I am God” is an appendage to a Jewish law that you can get away with something because no one is watching. For example, "treat the orphan good, I am God." No one knows how will you treat the orphan other than God. If there is no God then what is the reason to treat the orphan good? Prager ends the hour by saying that we live in this age of stupidity that rejects ancient wisdom. That today we believe that the intention of doing good is all that is needed to be a good person, but that is foolish. This is the belief that we should rely on our heart, because our heart is inherently good. I’d like to talk more about this topic another time. I think there is a lot to be said about intentions and actions and goodness. Many people think they are a good person and allow that to excuse their behaviors even when they know they are wrong. I don’t know where society fits into “calling out” people on their actions, but I know for me, my goodness is strictly defined by my religion and if I didn’t have that I would be lost. Being a good person would be much harder to do, because I wouldn't be able to define goodness.
This week’s male/ female hour was a wake up call for me. Prager touched on theory that he has made based on years of observation. The theory is that something happens to a lot of woman at the age of 29 in the way that they look at life. This is so strong that it may be a cause of a disproportionate number of martial breakups. He feels like something happens to woman that makes them ask who am I? What am I? What do I want in life? Why I am in this marriage? Why am I am in this work? And it overtakes them. It’s the equivalent of a man’s mid life crisis.
So I just turned 28 last week and will be 29 before I know it. Let me start by saying that I cannot in any way relate to having a relationship crisis. That being said, I can relate to everything else. What am I doing in my career? What do I want in life? Do I want more children? Where do I want to be in five years? What do I want to be doing? What is my purpose? I’ve started to question everything (expect my marriage). Even worse, I feel like time is starting to speed up and time is slipping away and I need to figure EVERYTHING out NOW!!!! One caller said it starts around 26 and for me it started around 27. I had always attributed it almost losing my life. I’ve been feeling it more and more the last year and now that I know and understand that I am not the only person that feels this way, I feel so much better. It hasn't made the feeling go away, but at least I can talk about it with other women and I have. Turns out I am really not alone here.
A 60 year old woman called and suggested that women feel this way because they want to do it all, accomplish it all, and always want to get better. At 29 she thinks woman start to realize that life is passing by quickly and it may be hard to do everything they want to do. Men can go to their job and feel accomplished and happy in just that, but woman feel the need to multitask in accomplishments and life. YES! I agree. Another caller said that around 29 women start to feel life passing by very quickly. She also said that our culture attributes so much to youth and beauty and women get close to 30 they begin to feel like there are only a few good years left and they begin to wonder if there is something better for them out there. YES! I agree. Except I don't feel like there are better men out there, but that I need accomplish things in my youth or I will be old and regret it.
Prager's advice is to ask the important questions before we turn 29 so that alarm clock inside ourselves isn't as loud. Who I am? What do I want in life? What about children? Is marriage really important to me? The less life hits you with surprises the better you can deal with it. He says to look to older people for advice, because they have wisdom. I've always been a advocate for goals. I want to sit down this weekend and make some goals for myself. I also want to spend some time writing down and answering these important questions in a way to sort out what I want and how to get there.
The happiness hour was about Father’s since Father’s Day was Sunday. Prager brought up the New York Times symposium-What are Father’s For. Click THIS link to see it. Most of the guest writers said Father’s are not necessary. I tried to read it all, but I got disgusted at some of the articles and just had to stop. It’s a lie that a child doesn’t need a Father. I don’t know why anyone thinks that a Mother’s role is any more important than the role of the Father. Both are important and beneficial in ways that the other cannot be. As Prager points out, boys need their fathers to show them how to become a man, to be a model. Otherwise, the just become old boys. I know Adam is, and will be, a great role model for Landon. That is one of the reasons that I married him. Father’s also bring security. I can already see that with Landon and Adam. Landon trusts Adam 110% because he feels secure with him. That’s why when Adam tells Landon to jump off the diving board and he will catch him, Landon does. The sense of trust and security is 100% . I should know because I even feel that way with Adam. It’s a gift men have.
Many of the callers grew up with Father’s who had serious problems. In turn, they married a man very different so that they could have a successful family. I love this! I’ve never understood how so many people can continue the cycle and why they put the responsibility on their parents for the way that they are. If your Father was an alcoholic, that is all the more the reason to not drink; to discontinue the cycle. It’s much smarter to watch others and learn from their mistakes than to learn from your own. It will make life easier for you in the long run and cause a lot less pain and suffering.
I was lucky enough to have a great Father. Despite my parents divorcing at a young age, my Dad made sure that he maintained his duty as a parent. He was always there for me when I needed him and even when I thought that I didn’t. He taught me values, life lessons, practical lessons and so much else. Most importantly though, he was present. No one is perfect. My Father isn’t and Adam isn’t. But that's ok. A parent's job is to teach and protect their child until they are an adult and hope that what you’ve done is enough for the child to be successful. The definition of success may be subjective, but no measure of success can be achieved if they are not around. Father’s have a bad rap and maybe a lot of it is deserved, but the role of a Father is invaluable for a child. I’m blessed that Landon has two of them to emulate as he grows up.