Disclaimer: this piece relies heavily on cultural stereotyping. Sorry about that, but I need archetypes to illustrate my point. My bad.
When I was in my early 30's, I went to a seminar for mental health professionals about child care. It was led by one of the leading sociologists from Europe, a woman of fine academic / practical pedigree, and the presentation was very well done indeed. Out of this, I learned something that has stuck with me ever since and it goes like this ...
There are many types of mothers in many cultures in our world. Some of the most notorious are Jewish mothers when it comes to passing along values, conscience and ethics to their children. How do they do this? By suffering with every move their children make and every change in the world, they guarantee a little guilt to continuously monitor activity and ethical concern. The world is no longer an abstraction, but encapsulated in the mother and there are consequences to actions. And, sometimes, it isn't even possible to solve.
Question: How many Jewish mothers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?Answer: That's OK, I'll just sit in the dark.
Gee, Mom! I try so hard to make you happy. You are with me always, everywhere. There is only one mother in the world more effective than you in creating guilt, a tremendous motivater of ethical restriction, the Japanese mother! She ALWAYS suffers silently. The only thing more potent than the tangible is the imagined! My Japanese friend must carry the weight of his mother's imagined inner agony in all situations.
Well, our family is not like either extreme. We don't generate all that much guilt, we just romp together. But, heaven help us, look what we've fostered:
Now, enjoy the entries by the other active LBC members. I think I have their links on the right, but will check that out as I slowly get my act back together, LOL!!!