Home Culture and Society An answer he may appreciate… – Barry Koplen

An answer he may appreciate… – Barry Koplen

An answer he may appreciate…

When I read the statement below from a psychologist friend, I was disappointed that he had, apparently, reached that conclusion. Since he is my age, I assumed he’d had many experiences that had helped shape his opinion:

It would appear that everybody wants to be special, be somebody; however, nobody wants to grow toward getting reality-oriented.

Because I expressed doubt, he asked me why I disagreed. Since I promised him an answer, here it is.

Perhaps my time spent as a parent when my two daughters were young may explain why I disagreed.

Being ‘reality-oriented’ (his words, not mine) translated to me as time spent engaging oneself actively with life and living.

Silly as it may seem, I found ways to make commonplace events into joyful experiences. I’m reminded of a time when my girls were eight or nine and all the leaves had fallen. There were so many that I needed help gathering them into piles.

That’s why I told both of my girls and their friend that they could have a leaf jumping contest if only the piles of leaves were high enough. I suggested that, if we gathered them into jumping piles, they could have a jumping contest.

And they could take turns being the judge.

Never before had leaves been raked so well and so quickly! Piles were so high that jumps were safe to make.

And fun.

Until it was dark, they, enjoyed leaf jumping. When darkness came, we burned the compressed piles and roasted marshmallows.

Fast forward to late spring, early summer.

My daughters and I had planted a section of our garden in gourds. All size, colors, and shapes. When harvest time came, I suggested that they harvest and clean the gourds so that they could have a gourd sale.

That way, I explained, they would learn how businesses, including theirs, made money.

With a few tables and chairs and a little change for their cash register, they displayed their wares and welcomed their first customer, my Dad.

Not only did he love the gourds, but he made the sale a true success, a success my children never forgot.

Even now, decades later, my daughters’ homes are full of joy and excitement because they are ‘reality-oriented’ parents.

Aren’t you?

B.Koplen    6/30/22