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An Attitude of Gratitude is essential for the Goddess Self Respect Project.

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Philosophical Parenting: Getting the Question right.

I freakin’ love children.  They have this innate ability to get so freaky obscure, profoundly deep or just ridiculously banal. Today I was in a very long drawn out negotiation with my 6 year old son, attempting to get him to help me in the garden for half an hour, with a big, but easy task.

We had our terms of trade – labour for ‘TV time’.  I was just laying down a bit of philosophy, preempting that 5 minutes into the task, he was gonna get pretty bored.

Me: “Do you know the difference between an experience being Fine, and an experience being Boring?”

Son: “ Um, nahp.” 

Me:  “It is the way that you think about it!”

Son pauses, then eyes open wide: “Cool!”

Son gives thoughtful look:  Can you say it again?”

Me: “Ok. Do you know the difference between an experience being Fine and an experience being Boring?”

… It’s the waaaaay that you thiiiink about it.” 

A long “Ohhhhhhhhhhh!”  From son.

“Yeh, yeh” he starts to interject.

Me: “Yes, like the two ways of going up a hill.”

Here, I start, trying to refer to an existential lesson from earlier in the week regarding Stuart Wilde’s explanation of the difference between ‘Effort’ and ‘Struggle’.)*  But he interrupts me, in all seriousness. 

Son:  “Yeh but, Mum?”  He obviously has an important question!

Me:   “Yes, Darling?

Son:   “Yeh. But, why do ‘Pee’ and ‘Poo’ both start with the same letter?”

Checkmate.  He wins.


*Note:  Stuart Wilde explains the difference between ‘Effort’ and ‘Struggle’. He says that a lot of things we want to do take effort. But the difference between putting in Effort and Struggle is the difference between having a good time of it, and having a bad time of it and having to do it anyway.
That is to say: Effort plus resistance  (or negative emotion) equals struggle.