Letter from Publisher
In contemplating the subject of this month’s focus on Enlightened Parenting, I’ve been holding an internal debate: Is it more of a responsibility or a privilege? I wound up voting for both.
It’s undeniably a huge responsibility to forward the arrival of another living being into this world and our physical, mental and spiritual home. Little ones must completely rely on others to care for their every need. Part of a child’s upbringing is encouraging them to discover who they are and teaching, or at least exposing them to ways of being for which the world will judge them—and you. How they function and contribute along their journey is, after all, on public display.
However, parenting is an indescribable privilege, as well. More, it’s a God-given blessing. As far back as the days of Sarai and Abram in the book of Genesis, it’s a clearly stated cultural norm that to have and raise children shows divine favor in our life because of their perceived contributions to family value and wealth. Ego comes into play in the joy-filled pride and awe that this amazing little person looks like us, smiles back each time we smile at them and loves to cuddle and kiss us, despite our flaws and foibles. Ultimately, most parents experience an unparalleled depth and breadth of feeling that’s unprecedented in their experience.
As young, excited, but unprepared new parents, my former husband and I were blessed to have the guidance of two sets of more experienced parents actively involved in our lives, and that of their first grandchild. Today, many years down the road, I wonder at the amazingly smart, kind, beautiful and sensitive adult our daughter has become.
The temptation sometimes comes to whisper to myself, “Well done.” Other times, I flay myself over not doing or being all that I might have. Hope rests in the reality that a parent’s job is never done. Showing up and being present in my daughter’s life continues as a lifelong responsibility and more importantly, a privilege I’ll embrace for the rest of my life.
This month’s emphasis on parenting with presence reminds us to consciously reside in each precious moment. Our world has great need of wise mothering, fathering and mentoring that reaches beyond our own offspring to include the young, old and in-between individuals we encounter in our places of worship, neighborhoods and communities.
It further occurs to me that all of us are also called upon to be good Earth parents. We each own a responsibility and privilege to love and conscientiously steward this home planet on which we find ourselves. This too, is a forever endeavor. Maybe like me, you periodically consider how you’re doing on that score. Your Natural Awakenings green, healthy and sustainable living community is always here to encourage, inspire and advance your journey in good parenting of the Earth and all its children.
Bernice Butler, Publisher