Spirtuality and learning from one’s progeny

The pond, released from its netting, and ready for summer.

To me, an inability to learn signifies that you are on the way out. I have met, in recent years, countless people who, despite their younger age, seem way older than I am. I have had my children tell me that we constantly surprise them with our less than aged demeanor. I am often told of people that they know who are ‘geezers’ and incapable of change.

Being able to change and to adapt are important features of human beings. In the past, not being able to do so could be so dangerous as to cause one’s demise.

Our children were raised, as were Mary Kay and I, Roman Catholic. I saw so many children with parents of different faiths, or with no faith at all, and it did concern me. Our thought was that we would give them the base and when they got older; they would have our blessing to do whatever they wanted to do with that base, either accept it or jettison it. I have found that although it may be easier to have that churchgoing, moral base, that it is possible to have spirituality without it.

Our oldest son was married in the Catholic Church. Since then, he and his wife were the only ones and within a relatively short period of time, church going was not a part of their lives.

I attribute my lack of church going, of being a lapsed Catholic, to my children. They never said a word to me about it. They are probably among the most spiritual people I know; they just don’t do the church thing. They might sometimes complain about the time in CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) for religion classes or complain of feeling treated as second class by the children of our area who went to the local Catholic school, but for the most part, they say nothing. They didn’t have to. Events kept compiling of issues within the Church that had been demanding attention and action for a very long time and that had just been shoved under the rug, for the most part.

Our children were the first in both of our families to go to public school. I had first attended public school, but when my dad died, I made the switch. Being researching parents looking for the best for our children, we checked out both public and Catholic school opportunities. We were terribly shocked when the kindergarten teacher at the Catholic school displayed anti-Semitic values and suggested that there was no reason to send one’s children to be with ‘them,’ as she put it. That sealed the deal. Our children attended public schools all the way through high school and college.

I feel Catholic, I always shall, but churchgoing is not to be a part of my lifestyle. Radical things would have to happen before that changes.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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