Family Values

I have a friend, Megan, and what she does for a living is consulting in the area of Core Beliefs. What she does is help people really understand the core values that were instilled in them via their upbringing, and then recognize how that might affect their current life. At the moment, she does a lot of work with entrepreneurs and money – identifying deep held beliefs (like: you should never buy things on credit! Or, asking for money is rude! Or, asking for more money is vain! or whatever your parents have ingrained in you), and then working to consciously change those beliefs, assuming they are working against you in some way.

(Here’s her website, if you want to know more. This is not a sponsored post, I just thought people might be curious.)

Anyway, hanging out with Megan does make you look at your own family and your own kids and make you wonder what kind of deep values you are instilling in them that are going to totally screw them up someday.

I had a moment like that yesterday when I was sending my oldest, Captain Jelly Belly, off to school for an exam. I had an appointment that morning, so I couldn’t pick him up. He was going to walk home, but he hurt his leg skiing on the weekend, and the buses aren’t running because of exams.

So I suggested he ask one of his friends for a ride home, but he couldn’t do it.

And bam! there’s a family value right there. We do not ask for help. It is something I feel very strongly about. I was raised by a mother who did everything alone, single-mom-ing it to four daughters and figuring it all out on her own. I learned early that there was no one that could be truly relied on, that if you want something done, you do it yourself. That asking others for helps only leads to that look in their eye – you know the one, the shifty one that says, “mmm, I’d rather not, but now that you’ve asked, I feel obligated, so I guess, yes, if I have to” – and you never want to actually put people in that position.

So just take care of it yourself. Learn how, or struggle through, or forget about it. But it’s on you, and no one else.

So although it would make me feel better if I knew he was getting a ride home, I couldn’t argue with his insistence on walking. It’s something I have taught him; he has learned it from me. He hobbled his way home on his own, and I get that buddy, I really do.

But maybe it’s time to revisit this one family value.

2 thoughts on “Family Values

  1. I grew up similar, and still feel uncomfortable asking for help even today. Then, the kids sports started to get heavier with obligations (they’re in competitive), there are insurmountable conflicts, and I realized something:

    You belong to a community. Asking for help and returning the favour when they need help is part of being in a community.

    This isn’t restricted to sports. From what i’m noticing, school communities, neighbourhood communities….it’s all part of it. Like this: I’m around today to do x for you, but won’t be next week, maybe someone else can help out?

    It take time to learn this, took me years! 🙂

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