Words are funny things. They can make us smile and even laugh out loud, or they can bring us to tears. Words can build us up or they can tear us down. But why? Every word in the English language is made up of some combination of just the 26 letters in the alphabet.
And here’s the thing about words (and you can trust me on this, after all, I’m a real, live wordsmith), even bad words can be good. Take selfish, for example.
Yesterday I got an email from a woman who said that she and her husband lived frugally and both worked two jobs to put their three daughters through college. She said they paid all of their expenses and the girls all graduated with no student loan debt, and that all have good jobs now. She said they have also helped all three out financially when it has been needed. Now mom and dad are in their mid-60s, recently retired, and have wanted to travel for as long as they can remember. So they put their home on the market, it’s under contract, and they plan to use that money to purchase a motorhome to live their dream.
Or, at least that was the plan until their middle daughter, who has a Masters degree and makes somewhere around $100,000 a year, announced that she wants to quit her job and get a PhD, and that she expects mom and dad to use the proceeds of the house sale to pay for that. The mother said she told her that wasn’t going to happen, it was now their time to do their thing, and in response the daughter has told them they are being very selfish. She added that her husband always wants to do anything he can for his three daughters and feels that if that’s what it will take to get this adult child where she wants to be in life, they should do it.
I replied that selfish can be good. I also told her that they had done much more for their daughters than most people would or could do, and that it’s time for their daughters to stand on their hind legs and take responsibility for their lives. There is selfish, and then there is selfish. Their daughter is selfish in the worst form of the word, and mom and dad putting their foot down and saying no is the right kind of selfish.
I love my kids, and we have helped them out in the past when they needed something, but there comes a time when you have to say the Bank of Dad is closed. I believe that’s an announcement this couple should have made to their daughters a long time ago. What do you think?
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates Book Series: THE LIVES AND ADVENTURES of FAMOUS and SUNDRY PIRATES. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?