Raising Hell

Being a parent exposes us to the widest range of emotions. We love our children to the point of distraction, but they can certainly be the source of our greatest concerns and frustrations.

As I reflect, it seems to me that, I’ve possibly been the author of many, if not most, of my own related discomforts. My focus has always been, it seems, on three myths that have governed much of my life without my awareness, namely polarization, rectitude, and time. My assumptions on these issues have created more problems than solutions.

Regarding polarities, might I have shot myself in the foot when I encouraged my young people to promote their individuality and then, later, resisted, sometimes strongly, when they felt the need to explore the boundaries of this individual awareness?

What if I had emphasized more the vast commonalities that we all share with others, with different life forms and even with nature itself?

Rectitude is certainly a secure base when dealing with principles and values but it’s hopelessly inadequate when managing radically changing social conditions. What I’ve needed here are safe revelations through the enrichment of different opinions, with possible beneficial consequences, because we do live in a world that’s constantly changing.

Fixations on either past and future, has robbed me of present control and initiative. The way I learn is from my subjective past experiences; I can dream and hope for possible futures, but the only place I can do anything at all is right now.

Conformance to imposed expectations is surely not the answer. The alternative is a dialogue-based exploration of consequences which can increase cooperation, reduce uncertainties, and build relationships. When the exploration is solutions-focused it actually assists to create new realities with many mutual benefits.

Increasing options is the objective and stories with dialogue is the process – this is wisdom-in-action. Stories encourage memorability and ownership, and through dialogue, will lead to acceptance and responsibility.

Solutions need to be owned by the individual, so this is where they need to be created. Clearly, they cannot be successfully imposed no matter how well-meaning and intense the motivation.

Once again, wisdom prevails. Boundaries become more flexible, answers more accessible and time is better invested. We all win!


  • David E.C. Huggins

    David Huggins has fully enjoyed a lifetime of experience as a military officer and as a behavioural scientist, supporting businesses and similar enterprises, at both organizational and individual levels, through leadership coaching. A contemplative Christian, he is devoted to contributing love, value, comfort, and continuity to this diverse world. He resides in Campbellville, Ontario, with his lovely and talented artist wife, Judy.