As I try to figure out how to raise my own children, I’m continually amazed by the insight and foresight of my own parents. My household had little in common with the Cleaver’s, but, like the Beav, I had a very wholesome, happy childhood. In addition to teaching me values of hard work, loyalty to family and friends, honesty and responsibility my mom and dad also demonstrated the importance of being comfortable with oneself.
Being comfortable with yourself may sound like a strange thing to teach one’s children, but now that I’ve embraced the hermit-like existence of being a writer I am so thankful for the ability to simply be alone. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on telling stories and laughing with my friends, but I’m also able to be happy and comfortable just being by myself.
In the age of nonstop playdates, sleepovers, cell phones, video games, skype, text messaging, facebook and all sorts of other “social networking” devices I believe that it’s more important than ever to consciously teach our children to “learn to be still.” I remember a commercial with the pitch line “so you never have to be alone,” as though being alone were some kind of problem in need of a solution. If you never learn to be still, how can you ever expect to hear that still small voice – the one that tells you about life, and how to live it.