The Weight Of The World. The Weight Of Your Children.
Mar 22 2009

So many entrepreneurs and business people are scrambling trying to figure out what to do during these interesting times.  Companies are shutting down, investors are upset, entrepreneurs are having breakdowns and wondering how they are going to make it through the next few years let alone their lives.

Large companies like AIG are literally crumbling based on decisions made based on statements surrounding the awarding of bonuses that weren’t properly scrutinized by the US Congress or internal management.  All of the actions and behaviors that should have been considered sub-par that were looked over are now coming under extra scrutiny because times are tough.  When times are good, people look the other way on many things they should not because they figure “Hey, it’s not hurting me.”  When people raise the flag like they did on Bernie Madoff during the good years (the SEC had received repeated requests to investigate Madoff and they didn’t follow through) people looked the other way.  It’s shocking to me how often people look the other way when incompetence and potential illegal activity might be going on.

Maybe I have an extra sensitivity to this because in my first job out of college I was a public accounting auditor and in my second job I was an internal auditor with training in fraud detection.  It’s often the people you least suspect who are committing fraud, holding a check or two in a drawer, moving money around in accounts thinking no one will notice because no one is really paying attention.  They think to themselves “Oh, I’ll put it back. I’m not doing anything wrong.  I’m trying to help out here.  I really need this.  They’ll understand.  Plus, I’m going to put it back.” But when it comes time to put it back or right the wrong, they don’t have it so what started out as a simple stop-gap gets more complicated.  Who’s fault is it?  Definitely the person doing it, but also the people who should be paying attention.  Most people are too distracted to pay attention…not only in business but also in their lives with their spouses, their children, their own financial situations.

Then all of a sudden, the weight of the world is on not only those who intentionally or unintentionally rob and profoundly affect innocent people, but also on those who should have done a better job at oversight.  The finger pointing starts flying, but we are all to blame.  Humans keep repeating the cycle because we get caught up in the game, in the story, in as Landmark education says “wanting to look good and being afraid to look bad.”  The “fear of looking bad” overwhelms most of us and paralyzes our ability to make the best decisions at work, at home, and in life.  I know how strongly that fear affects me despite having pushed the ‘potential for looking bad‘ envelope a time or two!

And the weight of the world is heavy when it falls.  And the weight of the world is difficult to remove.  And the weight of the world is stifling.

But the weight of your young children is different.  Today I got very upset with my kids for locking all the doors (they thought it would be a fun game) to our room because I was trying to find my keys so we could go to Home Depot and get some air filters while their dad was riding his bike.   I sent one to our living room and one to stand in the hallway while I tried to open the door with a gadget we have just for such occasions.   I was frustrated because it delayed our errand running until after lunch and it took me longer than expected to open the freaking door!

While our 6 year old son was waiting in the living room, he decided to pick up his English chapter book (Cam Jamson and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery) and start reading.  My son decides he is going to continue reading his book after lunch but that he has to do so while sitting on my lap despite there being several other places to sit.  Their dad was back by that point and the doors were all open, but they were both still getting hard stares from me.  We were all in the living room, and I was sitting on the sofa.

So he climbs on my lap and reads his book and asks me from time to time how to say a certain word, and I feel so elated (like only a mom could) that of all the places he could sit he wanted to sit on my lap to read his book.  I remember thinking “he won’t want to sit on my lap for much longer” and how the weight of him felt so right and perfect.  Our almost 4 year old daughter then decided to climb up next to me and put her head on my left shoulder and look at our son reading.  The combined warm weight of them blended with their interest in reading/learning overwhelmed me, and I kissed their heads repeatedly and dropped a few emotional tears onto their heads…just like any other sappy mother. 🙂

And the weight of young children on your lap is light.  And the weight of young kids sitting peacefully on your lap is not something you easily want to remove.  And the weight of young children is uplifting.

Now, the weight of teenagers is apparently not so glorious…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship | Tags: , | 5 Comments »