Pressure points

Do you remember the psychology 101 experiment:  Starting with a pair of mice, allow them to multiply until the space is crowded with dozens of mice? The experiment is intended to demonstrate the eventual inability of mice to adapt to increasingly overcrowded conditions, and the resulting frustration, anger, and real violence created by the situation.

With more and more adult children remaining in the home of their parents, for a multitude of reasons, I believe this has become a serious pressure point in our society. Think about it for a moment. Regardless our love for our children, most parents do, indeed, look forward to the day their obligations to others dwindle. Furthermore, mothers and fathers look forward to the time they may enjoy their days with one another absent the responsibilities of helping to solve the day-to-day problems of siblings, the “crowded” conditions become more comfortable and tolerable.

Apparently, as doting parents for 20 or so years, parents have a great deal of difficulty letting go their ruling hand over the children. Mothers and fathers no longer have the freedom to participate in major life-changing decisions by their children, although one would hope the children seek the counsel of their parents before jumping into deep water. Parents even anger when not consulted. Simply getting over this major hurdle can create more than its share of discomfort and outbursts. Of course, there is also the age-old circumstance that “father knows best”. Experience in life is a wonderful teacher, and mom and dad have more of that.

Most Christians believe “God never gives us more than we can handle. “Although not a quote from the Bible, there are several passages from which that arises. Example:

¨But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.¨ – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Day-to-day living is now, in my view, much more complicated than the “Golden Decade” of the 50’s when I reached adulthood. Life is not simple. It is difficult work. There are many challenges around every corner, certainly more difficulty simply sitting down to talk and work through differences with one another. Time, too, seems to move more quickly today, adding to our frustration level and those short fuses we all seem to obtain. Confrontations abound.

Interpersonal relationship communication has become more difficult in this day of high-speed electronic device communications. Seemingly, we’ve forgotten how to listen first. Perhaps we are all much too interested in making our own point–however flawed it may be–so we can move on to other things and more serenity. Too, would it not be better to have a civilized discussion with the cellular phone, television, and computer games turned to the OFF position.

There really seems to be no easy answer, other than to love one another and listen more than we speak. — D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee,

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