Some things are simply overrated in their power to influence and form you….

by Rod Smith

Some things are overrated for their power to shape people. Before I am barraged with mail, kindly note I am not suggesting these things are not important. I am suggesting they are offered more power to heal or hurt than appropriate:

1. Parenting: While of course it is important parents do all they can to be good parents, do the right and loving thing, and be available to help and correct and love their young – multiple factors influence and shape children into adults. Thank God my children are infinitely more than, much more, than a product of my parenting.

2. Empathy: Counselors spend much time developing their ability to embrace the experience of the client – as if understanding the client, feeling what the client feels, is in itself the silver bullet of greater mental health. Empathy is not, in itself, a useful end. Thank God my professors offered me personal challenges, invited me to embrace change, while also attempting to understand and embrace my experience.

3. Childhood: I believe our self-help culture has managed to convince the masses that, pivotal to ensuring healthy adulthood, is a happy childhood. While no one in their right mind desires an unhappy childhood for any child, an unhappy childhood does not preclude a person from a full, purposeful, and prosperous adulthood. Look around you: many men and women with the most troubled of childhoods have risen above it all and changed the world – for good.

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