by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com
I heard it again over the weekend and I remembered how much it moved me. The first time I heard those same words was during the Royal Wedding a couple of months ago. I remember being almost speechless when the words were uttered and thinking — “that is utterly brilliant!”
The priest who delivered the homily at Kate and William's nuptials began his address with these powerful words. And you do not have to be the least bit religious to appreciate them. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
The words seemed to reverberate around the world. So potent, so visual, so utterly, allbeit surprisingly, uplifting.
When Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams quoted St. Catherine of Siena in the first line of his homily at the Royal Wedding, he lit a spark.
It made me think of many things, among them, how I view my role as a parent.
I was saying to someone the other day that I consider one of my main duties as a parent — to ensure that I help my children reach their potential. Yes I apparently like to set the bar high. Why? Parents, in my opinion, have the great gift to take a child and guide, teach, lead and lift them to new heights. Everything is possible, nothing impossible when you look into the face of a newborn. We all can't help but have hopes and dreams for our kids, but when they start to display their own strengths, likes and talents, it's up to us parents to do whatever it takes to lead them on the path to achieve their potential.
This does NOT mean living vicariously through children, forcing them to do things they despise. It does mean exposing them to as many different things as possible so that they can discover their talents, likes and dislikes and experience life from various viewpoints.
If I had a penny for all the times my kids said they did not want to try something new, from food to sports and beyond, we'd be filthy rich! However, that is our job as parents isn't it? Show them. Gently point them in a new direction. After all how are they supposed to know this as kids?
It also means helping them appreciate the process, understand the journey, and not simply focus on the destination or ultimate goal.
Goodness knows it can be excruciatingly hard work and some days I admit to complete and utter exhaustion at the thought, never mind the execution. But I've learned that anything worth anything in life requires hard work. Anything less than that is simply not enough.
That goes for reaching one's potential.
That also goes for parenting a child to reach theirs.
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. Truly, an incredible mantra for any parent.