Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Cadre

I have been working myself into a froth about the following in no particular order:  youth soccer and over zealous parents, wooden Swiss Qtips (the potential for ear splinters is always there) the relationship between Simon de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sarte, and the peeling paint on my house.  I am skipping frothdom for the Scott Brown/Elizabeth Warren Senate race and the presidential race.  I'm also not too fired up about the Red Sox, the Texas Rangers or the Patriots.

I can make myself cry by thinking about the debt we are leaving our children and the realization that their lives are going to be harder than ours because of choices we have made.  The epitome of selfishness.  I just finished reading a great book called "Bringing up Bebe, One American Woman Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting."  It talks about the entire French culture supporting a few things, which they call the Cadre, or framework.  This led to an interesting discussion at one of my book clubs...which in all fairness was myself and Roving Reporter, who is actually not roving but getting her doctorate......and we picked the next two books...and I betcha people will come next time if they want to read anything but public policy or philosophy.......................about whether Americans have a framework as a culture.  The only things we could come up with, really, are the ideas of rugged individualism and bold exploration.  The French in this parenting book feel pretty strongly about babies sleeping on their own at a very early age, eating a variety of food at set times, and respecting others.

Since I have been frothing a bit, I decided to ponder my own personal Cadre, the one I am most likely passing on to my children.  It starts with the importance of family and honoring the elders in our tribe.  The second part of my Cadre has to be the idea that we are all doing the best we can with what we have.  When things get tough as hell, laugh long and hard as a first step, the absurdity of life is quite curative.  Put learning first and get back to school, classes, retreats, seminars as often as possible.  Find your spiritual center and feed it...with church or poetry or running or yoga.  So much of what we think matters, I have the sneaking suspicion does not.  I want to carry that awareness with me to the next contentious meeting I am in or pull it out when I am tempted to yell at my children about being late.  So what?  So what?  That might be a great cadre....I'm going to kick that one to the top and see what happens.

In the end, I try to remember that on the 28th day of the month, I froth transcendentally.

So what?


  1. I worry about needless things often. Here's a quote that David shared with me (from Earl Nightingale) that helps me put things in perspective:

    Things that never happen: 40 percent. That is, 40 percent of the things you worry about will never occur anyway.
    Things over and past that can't be changed by all the worry in the world: 30 percent.
    Needless worries about our health: 12 percent.
    Petty, miscellaneous worries: 10 percent.
    Real, legitimate worries: 8 percent. Only 8 percent of your worries are worth concerning yourself about. Ninety-two percent are pure fog with no substance at all.

    Isn't that interesting? I actually think it's true too.

  2. "In the end, I try to remember that on the 28th day of the month, I froth transcendentally."
    Without hyperbole, that is one of the funniest lines I have ever, ever had the joy of reading.
    So thank you.