SETSER: There is no shame in that | Local News
One thing I’ve learned so far from my 9 week old son James is how much fun it is to be an adult – and how shameful it is.
We can eat whatever we want, really, and somehow we find a way to complain or feel disappointed. He eats milk and he is always happy with it.
He doesn’t like it when his stomach hurts, but he never spits up milk that is upset by the taste.
Adults have the ability to jump on a plane, fly to Yosemite, hike the most beautiful trails in the land, but somehow we’ve found a million reasons why we can’t. not go there. James can only go where we take him, and often he’s confined to the car seat.
As James grows up he will be able to enjoy more and more of the wonderful things in life, and I can’t wait to introduce them to him, but the most important lesson that I am deeply afraid to teach him is this. art of contentment – the art of intentional joy.
I have a feeling that he will eventually teach me more than I will teach him.
It is not something you learn in school or in higher education; there is no class called “Enjoying Life”. We all know the slogan about making lemonade from lemons, but few of us take it seriously.
What happens as we get older is that we come to expect certain things. Many adults don’t have the ability to go to the bathroom on their own, but when was the last time you thanked God for the ability to have a bowel movement?
Children expect nothing, but as they get older that changes and they quickly learn what to expect, what they can expect from their parents – and from their world.
I’ve heard it’s called the terrible two and I’m preparing for this phase.
It was then that we all started to exercise our willpower, trying to get the best for ourselves, doubting the knowledge and kindness of our parents.
This pernicious evil is common to mankind and it permeates, not through immorality but through our treasures and blessings, and it seeks to stifle the childish joy within.
The more we have, the more we want.
Now, there’s a class on it, and it’s in the theology department.
There is a parable similar to this one that Jesus told to the religious leaders of his day. It is commonly called the Parable of the Prodigal Son, as most people focus on the younger son, who runs away and lives in immorality, only to return after he has hit rock bottom.
But there is another son, the older brother, and he is meaner than his immoral little brother.
Because he can’t stand the father forgiving his younger brother.
He is most of us.
The older brother was asleep with the good of his life, while the younger brother was passionate, animated by the drama of forgiveness.
Which brings me to a point that I anchor a lot of columns to: life is shattered and it is not shattered near the edges, but in the middle, in the middle of what we’re most proud of.
This is an order of magnitude larger than the standard problems of productivity, mathematics, and organizational leadership that the business literature focuses on.
It is a problem whose solution has greater potential to change our lives than anything the commercial literature has ever hoped to accomplish.
If we can solve the evil problem inside, we too can become children again.
It all starts there.
We can be humble and better leaders. We can become happy, satisfied with little, not have to make a sale to satisfy our greed. We don’t have to overspend or follow the Joneses. We can rest and find peace.
It all starts with running to the Father – to forgive and be forgiven.
Then, and only then, the pieces will fall into place and we can relearn how to be children.
There is no shame in that.
Adam Setser is a financial advisor at Kerrigan Capital and Risk Management, 3543 North Crossing Circle, Valdosta. He can be reached at (229) 588-8448.
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