I'm really enjoying this 21 day meditation. One of the recent meditations focused on four words: Attention, Affection, Admiration, and Acceptance. I'm also reading this incredible book, "The Old Way: A story of the first people" by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. It is about the last known hunter gatherers in the Kalahari and their way of life. I've marked about a dozen or so pages and am about two thirds of the way through reading it. Of course what I find most interesting is the relationships between the parents and children, although it is all pretty fascinating.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
The Ju/wasi were unfailingly good to their children. An infant would be nursed on demand stay close to its mother, safe in the pouch of her cape, warm in cold weather, shaded in hot weather, complete with a wad of soft grass of a diaper. Ju/wa children very rarely cried, probably because they had very little to cry about. No child was ever yelled at or physically punished, and few were even scolded...
We are sometimes told that children who are treated so kindly become spoiled, but this is because those who hold that opinion have no idea how successful such measures can be. Free from frustration or anxiety, sunny and cooperative, and usually without close siblings as competitors, the Ju/wa children were every parent's dream. No culture can ever have raised better, more intelligent, more likable, more confident children. (p 198-199)
I have mixed emotions as I read and reflect this book. I love examining this evolutionary perspective and definitely feel validated in a lot of my choices as a parent. A lot of what we do as a family we do because it *makes sense* and reading about this way of life reinforces this feeling for me. But I am also sad - sad that these people and their way of life is pretty much gone now.
Another huge part of their social structure was the need to belong. I am reminded of the acceptance part of my meditation. And I think of all of us parents trying to find our way. Many times we just need love and support - a listening ear. We don't need someone telling us that we're doing it wrong or advice on how we can do it better. We really all need the same things, regardless of our different choices.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.