Toning it down a bit, if UN fights for world peace, as parents we’re the one responsible for maintaining peace at home. It was very timely that two days ago I was listening to one of the Feast’s talk about finding happiness through peace and I was left with this quote from St. Augustine:
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
I know that as Amanda and Cassandra grows up, our conflicts would be more than taking a bath every mornings or even managing their tablet or PC time. As they go through their teens, I might find myself dealing with boys (shotguns not required), late night clubbing or cutting classes.
Essentials mean standing by our Christian principles… basic word to remember is LOVE. Above all other principles, if I can’t impart love to my kids, they would have a hard time thinking what the basic principles they need to follow. One example could be on integrity. They won’t understand that lying is bad no matter what the color is if they don’t see that it hurts the person they are talking to. Chances are, all actions not showing love breaks down peace, thus resulting to conflicts.
Non-essentials are preferences. Sometimes I tend to forget that all of us are created differently. These uniqueness make our lives happier if we learn to accept them, which is what St. Augustine meant by liberty. This applies not only to my daughters but more importantly, to my wife as well. In relationships, most conflicts arise because of differences in preferences. For example, when dressing up Amanda with her Japanese costume, I’m already super happy that she’s able to wear it happily. For my wife, she needed to fix the knot on how I tied it, make sure that the pillow on her belt is well centered and ensure no wrinkles on her dress can be seen under a microscope 🙂 Well, most of the time, I felt like what I did was wrong. But considering the differences between men and women, I could understand now why Cali naturally sees what I’m not able to notice. Biologically women are more detail-oriented than men. Her preferences dictated by her instinct is something I should be willing to forego so as to make our relationship more peaceful. Come to think of it, about 90% of any decisions made in relationships are preferences. If our temper will be ticked off if our preferences are not followed, we would be in a fight 90% of the time.
I’m far away from being good at dying from my preferences, but St. Augustine’s words can guide me to make a peaceful and loving relationship with my kids, wife and anybody I’m working with.