Last weekend the Tour de France concluded with a very inspirational story of American rider Andrew Talanksy who had earlier in the week finished the 11th stage powering through severe pain from injuries sustained as a result of crashes earlier in the race. According to the New York Times report, at one point he had stopped, dismounted and was clearly despondent. The team director, Robert Hunter said that he would never encourage a rider to quit the race, but he told him “If you’re going to stop, make sure it’s the right decision.” Talanksy remounted the bike and with encouragement from Hunter shouting at him from the car, he crossed the finish line a hero to the fans who knew his body was in agonizing pain.
Confident that it was the right decision for him, given the current circumstances of which he had no control, Talanksy withdrew from the tour. And on Sunday morning, I heard him explain to a sports caster that he was actually happy with the decision. There was a confidence conveyed in owning his choice and I remember thinking, “Wow. What a way to be.”
The serenity prayer encourages this mentality which to me is the power in the humility required to accept the things we cannot change, change the things we can, and seek the wisdom from the Lord to know the difference.
James 1:5 tells us that God grants wisdom generously to those who lack it and ask for it. To me the serenity prayer expresses this Scripture in a very practical, meaningful way.
Living with the consequences of our choices can be a challenge in the modern world especially for our children whose cyber-powered experiences can convince them they have no real choices. I have come to appreciate that the most important thing we can do for our children navigating digital landscapes that shape perception, is to create a home environment where a) they are expected to think for themselves (which includes respectfully expressing a different point of view than the group) and b) it is safe to talk about how their childhood experiences are informing them about touchy subjects (sex, drugs and bullying). And this means owning their choices in all situations – which is empowerment. Blaming requires a victim mentality which expresses powerlessness. We all are making choices to be a victim or a free agent in the network and in the flesh.
2014 July Monthly Round Up
- Help your child learn how to trust and be trusted in the social network
- Clarifying key concepts for cyber safety: Explaining brave and risky
- Two mental traps that make cyber connectivity dangerous
- How to explain monitoring your child’s social media and texting as love language
- What Rocklin teen arrests for cyber threat hoax teach us about civil liberty
- Train your child to be a free agent in the social network
- Cyber-powered learning at school and home promote secure connectivity
- Two cyber parent traps that make monitoring social media difficult
- Understanding and overcoming stupidity in the network
- There is no app for breaking the code of silence about youth mental health issues
- Child inventor of healthy eating app for kids goes to Washington
- Explaining to middle school kids why sexting is not connecting
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.