No. 180



There is an old saying that goes, "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It doesn't work and it annoys the pig." I had not heard this saying in many a moon until I heard a well known TV Judge use it on a program I was watching the other evening. This Judge was trying a case that was brought by an elderly couple who were trying to get the money back from a "sensitivity seminar" that was paid for by their children.

If you have ever seen or heard something that caused a "flashback" to an earlier time in your life, then you will appreciate even more what I'm going to share with you. What this elderly couple had gone through was to them a humiliating and stressful three day seminar that was designed to remove their "inhibitions" and make them more sensitive and loving toward their children.

After hearing the sordid details of what went on during the seminar however, I could understand why these old people were stressed, but their children were so desperate they were willing to try most anything that might make a difference in their relationship. Here are a few of the details that will give you some insights that may be of value. The elderly mother, who did most of the talking, came to this country from Baghdad, Iraq when she was ten years of age and had later married the children's father. This was back in the days when times were extremely hard and they both worked to provide a meager living for their family. As is often the case, the children's physical needs were met, but they received little or no affection from their parents. Years passed, and while the two sons and a daughter knew deep down that their parents loved them, there was never a strong bond of love between them and this left a real void in their lives. .

Now, years later, they were so desperate for a meaningful relationship with their parents they had paid for them to take the sensitivity seminar. Well, it didn't work and that's when the Judge made the comment about "annoying the pig." She dismissed the case, but in doing so she reminded the children that they were fortunate to still have their parents and she also helped them realize that the hard times they had gone through had taken their toll on quality time and their affection toward them.

As this story unfolded, it caused a "flashback" in my mind to the days when I was growing up. My parents were good people, hard working, honest and they did their best to provide for my sister and me. We didn't have much money but we knew they loved us. My father however, was considerably older than my mother and I very seldom ever saw any open display of affection between them. I can't ever remember seeing them hug or kiss and they very seldom hugged us, at least after I was old enough to remember.

As I look back now to times with our extended family, there were few hugs and kisses when we got together. To say it very simply, we were just not a "hugging" family. They were and are good people and most have done well. It was not until I married my wife however, that I began to realize how much I had missed. She came from a large family and they were "huggers" and openly demonstrated their love and affection for each other.

Today, our children are all grown and have families of their own. Now, when we are together I always "hug" each of my children and tell them how much I love them. What I have shared here is very personal, but if you have children or grandchildren I hope you will give each one a "hug" and tell them you love them. While teachers, friends and other people can do this, it's just not the same. They need it from "YOU" and they need it every day. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)