Monday, 13 July 2009

dappled shade...

I am a Libran. This, I believe, explains my pathological need to see both sides of every story, to see the light and shade in every situation, to tip the negative into the positive and to look for the good in the bad. This is not to say that I have a happy-go-lucky nature, that I am continually smiley and jolly. I am not. I complain and moan and rant and rave. Again, part of my Libran charm is the ability to be enjoying myself on the inside but behaving like a proper stroppy mare on the outside. It's a gift.

It could be the fact that I'm a northern Libran. One of the uppermost lessons I learned during my childhood was

"Do not show off. Ever."

Whatever I did as a child was clouded by this instruction. Any shy attempt at show and tell at home was greeted with "That's nice. Don't show off."

I am convinced that if there'd been such a thing as 'Britain's Got Talent' in my youth, my parents would have stood in the wings complaining about my 'showing off'.

Perhaps this was all a plan to keep us all grounded, down to earth, the same as everyone else. Who knows? Again, I can see both sides of the argument. It was quite confusing though to be encouraged to succeed and then, when that happened, to be told to hide that success.

The 'don't show off' philosophy contrasts greatly with our modern parental instinct to praise our children from their first burp to their university graduation. J & E have been given certificates for turning up, for improving, for being helpful. I'm all for positive reflection but it's a dreadful waste of paper. Isn't there an argument for children to be encouraged to be their own judge, to self-reflect, to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. I worry sometimes that, eventually, we will have a generation of adults who won't be able to go to work and come back again without someone giving them a badge or a lolly.

I'm not sure why I'm feeling so philosophical today. I suppose I haven't done much in the way of bloggable activity. I've knitted a bit (bunting, if you must know), written a bit, emailed a bit, worked a bit. Perhaps I'm subconsciously gearing up for a bit of action. I need to move on to the next thing, make some progress, shake things up a little.


elizabethm said...

Hi, I came to you via Little Brown Dog and so identify with the stuff about not showing off. Was it a particularly Northern thing, I wonder, as I too am a Northerner?
Anyway, definitely a thing of the past I would say, watching children being congratulated warmly for eating a sandwich and remembering to put their books in a bag.
Whoops, sounding like a grumpy old woman here and am really not! Perhaps just a closet Libran.

Only Me said...

Uhmm - I know what you mean on the 'don't show off' front - tis a fine line. It is good to gain confidence but then not to be too cocky either.

If our children are asked to take certificates of our qualifcations at future interviews - there could be so many - a suitcase could be required - good attendance, played well, got all spellings correct ...

Brown Dog said...

Gosh, yes - my mum, too (another northerner), thought the biggest crime in the world was showing off. Spent my life waiting in the wings for someone to spot me and lift me aloft for a life of fame and fortune, and am only just beginning to realise it ain't gonna happen. So I think I'm going to start showing off (what do I mean "start"?)