My father taught me how to run. He was never a good runner himself, though he did his best to get me to swing my arms and lift my knees. Yet, I never learned to lean forward, always appearing uncomfortable and awkward. His greatest weakness he also passed on to me.
In time, I learned to lean forward while running. It was like a revelation for me – suddenly, I was an athlete! Yet, it was not my father who taught this to me, but instead an old friend who had watched me struggle for years. He just mentioned it in passing one rainy afternoon.
How often have I remained trapped by my parents’, my family’s or my friends habits, beliefs and shortcomings? How often have I mistaken their faults for my own? How often have I imposed on those around me those same faults that I have inherited from those around me?
It is a challenge to go beyond our inheritance. To break free of your bondage can feel like a great leap into the unknown, yet we have all done it at times. You can remember times when you have rebelled against them – it’s part of growing up.
While you may not like your children rebelling against you, you also know that their rebellion also reminds you that you are doing your part in helping free the next generations from the mistakes of the past.