Open Letter to Casen

The following letter goes out to an under-parented 6-year-old who really needs to learn a valuable lesson.  It’s something I wish I could say to him in person, but most likely never will have the opportunity.

Casen,

I hope you put down the electronic game and the tablet and turn off the TV long enough to read this and give it some thought.  (But you might just go into convulsions if you do that, so maybe leave the TV on quietly in the background?)

Do you know what being selfish means?  It means when you only think about yourself and nobody else.  You don’t care what anyone else needs or wants.  Now, do you know what the word “selfless” means?  It means you only care about what other people need or want – about how to make them happier and more comfortable.

I know you don’t like wearing clothes.  I get it – I really do.  I don’t like wearing clothes either.  I usually have as few clothes on as I can get away with.  But, I try to not be selfish about it. 

How would you feel if you came over to my house, and I was running around in my underwear?  Would you enjoy seeing me in my panties and bra, or would that make you feel uncomfortable?  You probably wouldn’t like it, right?  It would make you not want to come over to my house anymore.  Now, how would you feel if you knew you would have to come to my house, at least once a week, and see me in my underwear?  You wouldn’t like it, right? 

You’ve been to my house, and I’ve been dressed each time.  I understand how running around in my underwear would make other people feel and I don’t like making others feel yucky by running around without any clothes on, so I make sure I’m always dressed if I know someone is coming over.  I try to be selfless and not make those around me uncomfortable.  I try to take their comfort into account when I’m making decisions.

How do you think your mother feels when she has company over and you’re running around in your underwear?  Do you think she likes it?  I know she’s asked you to put on clothes, but you refuse.  I think she’s probably very embarrassed that her son not only is running around almost naked, but that he doesn’t love or respect her enough to listen to her. 

How do you think my guy (T) would feel if his best friend came over, and I was in my bra and panties?  He would probably feel really uncomfortable and embarrassed, right?  Because I love T and don’t want to upset him or make him feel embarrassed, I make sure I have clothes on when he has guests over.  I try to be selfless to make someone I love feel good by taking their feelings into account when I make decisions.

Do you know that everyone else in your house is physically uncomfortable by your lack of clothes?  Your mother doesn’t want you to get sick, so she turns up the house heat up way too hot so that you are comfortable.  Meanwhile, every other person in your house (including any guests you may have) is too hot.  You are the only person in that house who is comfortable.

I want to ask you a quick question: How do you feel when you throw up?  Your tummy hurts, you have an icky taste in your mouth, and you just feel bad all over, right?  It’s no fun.  Everyone hates throwing up.

Let’s talk about T’s son (J) who lives in your home most of the time.  He throws up a lot at your house, doesn’t he?  Did you know that he almost never throws up at our house?  His body is very different from yours.  When he gets too hot, he throws up.   Because we know that he throws up when he’s too hot, our house is very cool when he comes to visit.  I often wear a sweater because our house is so cold.  But, I do it because I know about J getting sick when he’s too hot and I care about him.  Me putting on more clothes so that he doesn’t have to throw up sounds like a really selfless thing to do, right?  It’s important to me to be selfless, especially when it’s such a little thing to me and such a big thing to J.  By the simple act of me putting on clothes, he doesn’t have to throw up.

Who would you rather be friends with?  Someone who is selfish or someone who is selfless?  Everyone I know would much rather be friends with someone who is selfless.  I know the kids in your class would much rather be friends with someone who is selfless.  As you grow up, every single person you meet would rather be friends with you if you are selfless and not selfish.

I hope you take some time to think about what you’ve read.  I hope maybe your mother read it to you so maybe she might take a stab at thinking about her choices as well, maybe reconsider her parenting style and how she’s effecting your future.  I hope that one of you is able to open your eyes and see how much better your part of the world would be if you chose to be selfless.

With little hope,

Chloe

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