Relatable quote or half truth?

There are a few people I would have loved to have the opportunity to meet in my life. William Shakespeare, Joan Rivers, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Di, Olivia Pope (she’s fictional, but still), Ghandi, Rudyard Kipling and Jakes Gerwel to name but a few.

At the top of my list (though not mentioned above) is Aristotle. I am intrigued by him. Not only because the syllables roll from my tongue when saying his name and definitely not because I’m into science (because I’m not) but he seemed to be a rather interesting character and a wise man beyond his academic achievements. That’s if the quotes are anything to go by.

It’s his quotes that often help me inspire my kids and often myself when I seem to stumble or hit a blank. Today, as my washing machine kicked the bucket, I was forced to remove the half washed load (which was bedding by the way) and do it old school, I thought about my favorite quote: “We are what repeatedly do”. I’m quite pedantic about clean clothes and I repeatedly do washing so don’t mind if I do. I guess I am a 13kg top loader. Who needs Whirlpool anyway?

I’m sure that’s not what Aristotle meant when he said those words but when I had to work like Cinderella in blistering heat all logical thought escaped me. At least until the hard work was done and my overactive mind started working.

For years I’ve been telling my kids that they can do and be whatever they set their minds to. I’ve also been telling them that ‘I-Can’t’ does not live in our home and if I ever catch him here I’ll kick him to the curb. All this time I thought that it was part of good mothering. After my washing machine episode I’m surprised that they’ve never wanted to be an inanimate object. I’m happier knowing they definitely haven’t inherited my crazy DNA. I’m perfectly sure Aristotle knew there would be a me someday when he said “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

That said, I realized that I’ve been telling my kids a half truth. We can’t always be and do what we put our minds to. If that were the case then every Google doctor would be in practice and I’d be a astronaut, lawyer or some kind of profession where the word ends with ‘Ologist’. To be who or what you want to be takes hard work effort and an academic degree. I’m thinking that what distinguishes you from the rest on whether you’re good or brilliant is where the “put your mind to” and “repeatedly do” bits come in.

There is hope though. Turns out my kids are still young and there is no way I could explain all of this to them and expect them to wrap their little minds around it before. We’ve just entered into a new phase of our lives and it’s called high school. It seems about the right time to explain the theories.

Now to get over myself and my budget and see about getting a new machine or try to resuscitate the current one before I suffer from wash day blues.

I won’t bore you with the details of why I would have loved to meet all the people on my list but I have to make it known why Jakes Gerwel is on it. Up until the day the city did the Vanguard Drive name change I had no idea who he was. I have some idea now and I respect that. Naturally my curiosity is piqued. How do I go about having the city spend lots of money to change a busy road to my name?.

I’m interested to know which quotes and codes normal people (anyone who is not me) live by. What do you tell your kids about life? Drop me a comment…

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