Sunday, March 2, 2008

Where did My Inspiration Go...

Last week, I spent the bulk of my time editing.

My son had a project in English.

It was supposed to be a journal of his life and suffering. The premise was to imitate an author who wrote about his life and explained that suffering allowed him to see the world more clearly, to recognize how societal norms perpetuated pain and suffering. The kids were then supposed to look at their own lives for patterns to discern about the nature of reality.

The trouble is, he's fourteen and grew up in a reasonably normal home. He wasn't abused. He's never seen his parents fight where they threw things. He's never done drugs. He has friends. He's had academic and personal success already in his life, getting a scholarship and making honor role consistently in grammar school. We've never lost everything, had to sell his baseball card collection or had more than the emotional equivalent of a skinned knee in terms of life experience that might have traumatized him.

Unless you count the summer of Lyme disease, that rotted, but it was second grade. It's been a while. I think he's over it.

So the topics: The first time I tasted Alchohol, The first time I defied Authority, The First Time He Got in a Fight, the First Day of School, had a sing song element to them that made my son sound like Polly-Anna.

His great conflict to date? Refusing to eat refried beans served by his parents. This was his great suffering.

First day of School? Preschool memory of meeting the person who would become his best friend.

First taste of Alchohol --he made it up, since the teacher said "Receiving the Eucharist didn't count." I said, "Didn't count for what?"

Trying to pull something of depth out of a surface driven life that is essentially at this point unscathed and unscarred, we focused on his blessings. But I pointed out that if his premise was that only through suffering could one come to understand the true nature of the world, I should serve him beans daily.

He said I was full of beans.


xDashofPanachex said...

haha. At least he accepts he hasn't suffered and isn't just parading around in Marilyn Manson gear, whining about how much life sucks.

Anonymous said...

Portraying suffering as the path to Heaven should be scrapped forever. Sacrifice makes so much more sense: staying home over the weekend to catch up with studies, to visit a sick relative, such activities are character-forming. This should be the sign of our Faith: Character not scars.

Larramie said...

What's with the negativity factor? Just think, growing up normal is soon to be labeled as "abnormal." *sigh*

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