So many “inspiring” quotes or phrases have the glow of positivity. From motivational posters to famous orations, rhetoric designed to rev our engines usually speaks to the dignity, possibility, and meaningfulness of human being. But as I reflect on those phrases that have had the most “positive” impact on my life, I realize that many of them are negative. This is a blog series dedicated to those things that inspire me in spite of and because of a their negativity.
Negative Inspiration #1:
Raising kids is not always a joy.
This one came from my Dad. He told me this on a train ride from Italy to Switzerland when I was fourteen. It immediately created a split within me. I was crushed. My Mom’s side of the family had always told me I was the greatest thing since Ang the Last Airbender. My fourteen year-old ego staggered at the thought that maybe my Dad did not consider me the blissful center of his universe.
But I was simultaneously exhilarated. Not being the center of the universe really takes a load off. I caught a glimpse of the fact that I am part of a larger network–something bigger than me, with many centers. It’s not up me to hold the entire fabric of my friends and family together. It also told me that I could be both a joy and a pain, so I should weigh how my actions might affect those around me.
Still inspiring. Thanks Dad, for bursting my bubble.