No more Ms. Nice Guy

I grew up in a very well-adjusted family.  My parents love each other so much that it’s embarrassing. My parents have been married for almost 36 years. No separations. Sure, they’ve had their share of fights but I’ve never had any insecurity about their marriage.  Except for when Denette and I threw them a 20th Anniversary party.  But that’s another story for another blog.

Growing up, my mom always had a soft-spot in her heart for the wayward, the downtrodden.  She always sees the best in people with the rose-colored glasses that she wears.  She always seems shocked to learn that there are inherently evil people in the world who actually find joy in harming and taking advantage of others. My mom took in homeless people, brought over those estranged from their families for holiday meals.

My sister and I were sheltered from a lot.  I don’t think that my parents intentionally sheltered us…but when you grow up in such a loving, giving environment, you tend to have the same disposition. I’d give anyone shelter, the shirt of my back, my last dollar to make them happy or keep them out of trouble.  I never believe that people are going to harm me.  I always believe that I can cheer someone on to reach their full potential.

The problem is that I can’t live others’ lives for them.  I can cheer. I can give good counsel. I can be a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board when you need to talk.  But I cannot take responsibility for your life.  I can only take responsibility for my own.

Lesson learned.

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