Earlier this year, I joined my neighborhood mommy group book club. I found myself reading novels, I would have never chosen on my own. Although they were entertaining, and filled up time, they weren’t anything like the self transformational reading I’ve sort of found addicting. The great thing about reading these books is, I’m never at a loss of what next to read. I’m always left with a list of books referenced in that current read.
I dare my readers to join me in the book, “Daring Greatly, How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.” by Brene Brown.
If you are not familiar with Brene Brown, take a look at her famous Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability. I’ll even make it easy for you and post the video right here at the end of this post.
After reading Brene’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection,” and now, “Daring Greatly,” both my husband and I have noticed a significant transformation in how I live, love, parent and lead.
I found what Brene shares in chapter 7 on whole hearted parenting, daring to be the adults we want our children to be, hitting close to home in recent events. In this chapter, she asked this question to some of her research participants…
“What do parents experience as the most vulnerable and bravest thing that they do in their efforts to raise whole hearted children?”
“Letting their children struggle and experience adversity.” was the answer she found across the country.
I pose this same question to my readers.
Let me share an example from my youth. Did you know that it wasn’t until the age of 15 years that I learned how to use a knife and fork to cut my food? I was attending a summer program for blind and visually impaired middle and high school students at the California School for the Blind. This was my first time ever attending a program just for blind and visually impaired students. The first evening we were served chicken and I had no idea how to cut the piece of meat. I was taught the simple method of finding the edge of the chicken with my fork, stabbing a piece, and cutting around the fork. Many of my friends would find that to be quite a surprise because we always joke that their blind friend is the one who slices the thinnest cheese, can chop onions with her eyes closed, and cuts the prettiest watermelon displays.
At 22, hacking away the umbilical cord my parents had tethered on to me for so long. Leaving the nest with no safety net below, literally flying half way across the country I took my first steps towards independence when I began my blindness skills training at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. In no way do I want to sound resentful. You see, I come from a traditional Cambodian family. I am their first born, and I happened to have a little trouble seeing. It was only natural for them to want to protect me as long as they could.
As a parent now, I try to model the person I want my children to be by being that person myself. I also trust that my children will only be strong, resilient, compassionate, whole hearted human beings through the lessons learned in the adversities they’ll face.