Now think about these questions:
- Were my parents divorced or never married? Was there a lot of fighting and maybe even domestic violence?
- Did my parent/s over punish me, degrade me or possibly abuse me by going too far with discipline?
- Was I neglected and permitted to run the streets?
- Was I raised in a volatile home where anger was a common occurrence?
- Were my parents chemically dependent or abusing drugs when I was a child?
Stop listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Think about all these questions and really take time to consider how you were molded and what you were taught through the adults around you. The way people live and grow is very cultural and this can include very toxic behaviors. Speaking of culture. How was the neighborhood you grew up in? Like some, who are fortunate enough to maybe grow up in dysfunction, their friend’s homes were a place that demonstrated healthy choices and life styles. But for some, an entire neighborhood can be steeped in the same behavior and no matter where you go, it’s all the same. Let’s ask some questions about your neighborhood:
- Were there local businesses who felt safe to operate in your community, providing job opportunities?
- Were there block parties and neighborhood activities that bonded your community and provided a sense of community pride?
- Were your schools a safe place to learn and the teachers respected? When the teachers were disrespected, did the parents take the side of the teachers or did they automatically take their child’s side and drop the opportunity to discipline?
- Were there fathers playing football in the front yard with their sons?
- Was there a need for a lot of police activity and presence in your neighborhood?
- Was your neighborhood clean, did the community take responsibility for lawns, garbage or cleaning up vandalism?
- Was it safe to walk in your neighborhood and visit a friend?
- Did families take care of each other, providing meals if someone was ill, run errands or help each other in general?
So here we have it. The home. The school. The neighborhood. All the places that help raise a person and instill the values to hopefully help them succeed in the world. How did your three do? Let’s journal about this!
Listen, my son, accept what I say,
And the years of your life will be many.
I guide you in the way of wisdom
And lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
When you run, you will not stumble.