Saturday, June 20, 2009

Same Difference

Parents often think of their children as their extension, but youngsters need to define themselves as separate (different) entities. We want to do things our own [better] way. After years, when we are sure we succeeded (perhaps with some question marks along the way), we find ourselves smiling as our parents, repeating their gestures, line of thought, food preferences, attitudes or other similarities. By this time, we acknowledge the similarities with understanding and even love. It reminds us of our beloved parents and we feel these resemblences bond us together (in the chain of life, if in a philosophical mood). We are different, but in some aspects, the same.

Statistically, battered children have a higher chance of becoming beating parents, children of self-employed/entrepreneurs have a higher chance of becoming freelancers and children of divorced parents have a higher chance of divorcing. According to popular psychology, we choose our spouses according to the model of our parents. Something deep inside us recognizes an imperceptible resemblance of the potential spouse to something familiar from home and that subconsciously affects our decision to marry them. A friend told me about a young fellow whose mother suffered from severe depression. He married a nice young [healthy] women, who one day felt she couldn't get out of bed. She was different than the mother, but in some aspects the same.

Another friend told me about an unhappily married collegue of him who was having an affair with another women because of the problems in his marriage. At some point he divorced and married the other woman. Years later he confessed to my friend: "did I know there is so little difference between the two, I wouldn't have bothered to make the change." Different woman, same problems.
We have to acknowledge that our decisions are not as independent as we'd like to believe. Yes, they are completely ours, but in a context. And this is not negative, but human.

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