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Ego, Egocentricity, and Sitting at the Table with Odin 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:18 am
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Odin is the Lord of His Hall. There are other Halls, but I want to sit with Odin. For me, the study of Odinism has required a series of models of interpretation and this led me to appreciate DIFFERENCES over SIMILARITIES as I struggle for better understanding and direction. This is not to say that knowledge is our sacred invitation [to sit with Odin], rather, knowledge is a useful tool for moving in that direction. As I read through the posts of like-minded individuals I see several fascinating topics, but tonight I have a different one that has captured my attention for the moment: the value of striking the balance between ego and egocentricity.

When I was a young father I began a tradition of coming home to my wife and children and narrating my daily adventures as if they were great deeds. I did this to share my values with my family, as well as entertain them, but also to show them what I know to be possible. I told stories of my successes and failures and vowed to rise again to new challenges. I was developing an "ego" for my family to see. It seems to have worked for most of the family, except for my eldest son.

Last year, my eldest son rebuked me for my "ego". "You're not that great" he told me and it stung when he said it. It stung because he thought that my personal "greatness" was the center or point of the stories. All these years and he never understood that I had crafted my "ego" for him! The next time I sat down to tell my exploits I ended my story by telling the kids why I told the story: because I love them. I assumed the problem was solved, but then a year later, earlier today, the same son challenged me saying in short: you're wrong and I can prove it. I just smiled and he got indignant. "I'm going to prove it and then maybe you'll respect me." At that point I told him that beating me was not the way to earn respect. Respect comes from how you treat people, not petty games of one-upmanship.

Humility is not a strength of mine, and my wife's slogan "false modesty is just another way to lie" seems to only help me make it worse. But I do not deceive myself by believing that I deserve Odin's seat at the table, nor do I believe that He built the Hall just to entertain me. I hope as I carry on here at our microcosm of the Great Hall that my arrogance does not get mistaken for self-centeredness, and should I become too self-centered I hope you will not hesitate to call me out for it.

r


Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:13 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:39 pm
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RedSon

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I enjoy your posts - you are knowledgeable and share a great deal here, I have learnt from you. Unfortunately, the young will always challenge their elders. There is a time in most of their lives where they do not value the elder's knowledge or life experiences. This is part of their maturing and developing into adults - irrespective of them being 18 or 28! I remember well challenging my parents - and at times I still do although I passed 28 many winters ago! Realisation of the experiences of our elders can sometimes be hard to acknowledge but it will happen - perhaps his 'ideals' are not in line with yours but he will come to a point where he will appreciate your efforts whilst he was young. Please keep sharing your posts with us, you have much that is worthwhile to share.

Stormr


Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:27 am
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Thank you, Stormr, that is good of you to say. I hope you are right, it would be nice to get a little credit for trying! Until then I'll just have to content myself with knowing that my kids actually aren't as headstrong as I was.
Cheers,
r


Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:24 am
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 12:37 pm
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This is a very interesting subject, humilty is a very important aspect of other beliefs like buddhism for example. For us it is a consequence of the knowledge path... But I still question myself if it is something far greater than just a virtue.

Your son behavior is natural, they grew up and want their own individuality and one cannot be different if he dont question something...

Probably he just want to be you. The person that is right, the person that has something to say. The person that his family admires. Who would not want to be admired? Ask him if he dont want to bring a story next time.


Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:33 am
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A son will always challenge a Dad, its a phase, the next phase is where they learn understanding. I would ask my son to tell of his deeds for the day in the same format. I think you will learn something of your son and he more about himself.


Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:25 am
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Thank you, Hakon. He's grown up and moved away now. I think that the surprise was in how he never said what he thought out loud until he was home for a visit. There is a lesson here, I suppose, in continuing parenthood even when your kids aren't kids anymore. I used to always ask him what was his favorite part of the day, and maybe if I had worded it closer to how you suggest (what were his good deeds or adventures) he might have understood the lesson a long time ago.
r


Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:01 pm
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You still care, their is no fault with you sir, nor your son, parenting is hard, when his children grow he will understand. You just need the time. Good fortunes to and yours Sir.


Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:29 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:32 pm
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Has he had a turn at telling his daily adventure as if it were great deeds?

I have a friend who I often ask about her adventures, knowing she's just living a very ordinary life like mine. Or well, I used to. We haven't talked in a while. However, when we were still talking I would ask her about her day, and she would always come up with some story. She knew I was going to ask, so she would try to have something to tell me.

After I had asked her about her adventures, and commented on how perilous or exciting, or how great she was for having overcome the day's obstacles, she would naturally ask me about mine as well.

Mine of course, were equally as mundane as hers. Just silly everyday stuff. But I think whenever you rise to a challenge, even one that would not be a challenge to someone else, there is a small bit of story to share.


Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:37 am
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An excellent question, 8-j. The answer is yes. I always asked after modeling the format, but with my eldest in particular I could have probed a little more when he would respond half-heartedly. I like how you would ask your friend first. No doubt she put forward a stronger reply in anticipation of your stories.
r


Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:48 pm
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Some people just don't understand that heroism isn't about Superman stopping a bank robbery by standing there and letting the robbers' bullets bounce off his chest.

If that were heroism, then we could be heroic simply by walking into a room full of flies with a fly swatter.

Heroism is the police officer who gets shot by those robbers before Superman arrives, because he's trying to protect some of the bank's customers from them, and hopefully succeeds in saving someone. It's in struggle between equal or near equal forces that we demonstrate our courage.

Or heroism can be the person who doesn't know if they're smart enough to get a degree in chemical engineering, but wanting a better life for their family, they risk it anyway. Putting effort and money on the line and giving it all they've got without knowing if it will necessarily pay off in the end.


It appears you've done the best anyone can do in teaching this to your son. He's just going to have to figure the rest out for himself. It's all there for him to see.


Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:59 am
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8-j wrote:
Some people just don't understand that heroism isn't about Superman stopping a bank robbery by standing there and letting the robbers' bullets bounce off his chest.

If that were heroism, then we could be heroic simply by walking into a room full of flies with a fly swatter.

Brilliant assessment! I really appreciated that.
r


Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:00 pm
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