People who are very successful, very rich, or very famous can tell you there is something alienating and strange about being on the far end of the spectrum of life. Same goes, surely, for those who have experienced adversity, poverty and discrimination.
But sort of like security at the airport or traffic on the highway, parenting is a great equalizer. Suddenly, we’re all dealing with the same issues. Suddenly, we’re all helpless. Suddenly, we’re all helplessly in love.
We’re equally sleep deprived. We’re equally sunburned (and bored) at soccer games. We’re equally at the mercy of our children’s teachers. We’re equally slaves to the affections and whims of these little tyrants who we’ve brought into the world, through no fault of their own.
This parenting thing is a solitary, familial journey. But we are missing something when we forget all the parallel and nearly identical journeys happening all around us. You are not the first to be going through whatever difficulties you’re currently facing, nor will you be the last. That means we have an opportunity to learn and then to teach…if we can just be both humbled and empowered by this position we’ve found ourselves in.
As Martin Luther King Jr said, we may have arrived in different ships but we’re all in the same boat now.