Three cheers for the Huffington Post for bringing this thought provoking and parenting significant TED lecture to my attention– and I pass it on to you. And if you’re not familiar with TED, “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world”, you should be.
Brene Brown is a vulnerability researcher, and her comments about being vulnerable in this lecture highlight the price we pay as individuals for dulling our senses to the world around us. She explains how our fear of not being right enough, or extraordinary enough, pushes us to an extent where we overlook and even lock out the everyday joys and in fact become numb to them.
We become buried in busy. We lower our expectations so we’re not so disappointed. We all know all the ways we buffer ourselves from the world, build walls so we’re not so vulnerable.
Here’s what I didn’t know and never would have guessed: when we dull the senses to the negative, we equally dull our senses to the positive. When you can’t fully feel the pains of life, neither can you fully feel life’s joys. And that’s sad.
As a parent, the more we busy up our kids, the more we’re enabling them to build these same walls to ward off their vulnerability. As we sign them up for more piano lessons, more soccer practice, more math Olympiads, more opportunities to become extraordinary, we need to ask ourselves ‘why?’.
When we know now that pressure to perform contributes to an overall reduction in their ability to feel real joy, the decision equation is quite different. Do spend 15 minutes listening to this enlightening talk and thinking about how it could or should effect your parenting decisions. And any insights you have would be appreciated here as a parenting comment.