Monday, September 10, 2007


I have had several blog entries in the past about intentions.  So, excuse me for repeating myself but my thoughts often return to this subject and my misunderstanding of them in the past and present.

For those of you who may read this and not really know me I have an 11 year old boy, a 8 year old girl, and a 3 year old girl as well.  Lately the 11 year old has taken quite an attitude with pretty much everyone but mostly with his oldest sister.

This morning he was exceptionally grouchy about her whistling on the way to the car.  On and off throughout the day I had thought about what I could say that would let him know that the problems that he has with her are mostly in his perspective of reality.  In other words her whistling or crunching on some popcorn loudly maybe rude but are mostly problems because of what he brings to the experience. 

Pema Chodron has a book called "No Time to Lose" that talks about how we should react when people do things that we perceive to hurt (or irritate) us.  The advice in that book is to act as though the people had as much intention or control over themselves as a tree dropping one of it's limb's on our head.  A tree would have no intention of hurting us so it would be silly to be angry  at the tree.

So here I am explaining this to my son in the context of his sister being the tree; her irritating habits are only irritating to him because he chooses to be angry at her.

He then corrects me and proceeds to explain to me that he is trying to get her to stop so that when she is at school she won't behave that way - and then people won't tease or make fun of her the way they did him, and that he gets angry because she ignores his advice.  Her not showing the proper response to his advice is what makes him angry not that she is chewing with her mouth open or whistling...

The conversation was pretty much over at that point.  His intention is sound, he is just not carrying it through properly...


... Amazing ...