“Am I a good person?”

My daughter Rosalind asked my daughter Laurel this today.

Laurel gave her the Hasper answer. But first she asked a question.

“Why do you ask?“

“Well,” said Rosalind, “the house manager got mad at us today because we were getting into it with each other, and so she told us all that we need to shape up.“

Rosalind lives in a community of persons with disabilities. It’s a beautiful campus, with professional leadership, a model for the whole world.

“So you feel badly because she got mad at you?” Asked Laurel.

“Yeah,” said Rosalind. “ I don’t like it when people get mad at me.“

“Yeah I don’t either. Nobody likes that. But you have gotten mad at her haven’t you?“

“Yeah, I have.“

“Well, we all get mad at each other sometimes. The house manager sounded kind of like mom didn’t she?Getting mad doesn’t mean we don’t like each other.“

That’s the Hasper answer. When things get messy, we normalize messy. When we get a little crazy, we normalize crazy. That’s what human beings need. They need to know that the things they feel and the things they do are things other people have felt and done, because they have, but we lose track of that and we need other people to remind us of that from time to time.

“You’re not a bad person, Rosalind. You’re a good person.”

“Thanks,” said Rosalind.

I heard this story from Laurel when I talked to her on the phone later the same day, and so I called Rosalind and told her that Laurel had told me about the conversation. We went over it again and I reiterated to Rosalind that mad was normal and that it didn’t mean that she wasn’t good.

I told her, “You’re a good person. You are a kind person.

“Yeah,“ said Rosalind. “I think I would’ve been more lenient on everybody.“

“Yep,“ I said. “That’s who you are.“

“What does lenient mean?“ Rosalind asked me.

“It means exactly how you used it. It means to be easy on someone. It means to be kind and gentle and give them a break. I think that’s the way you are, kind like that.”

“Sometimes I get my words mixed up,“ said Rosalind.

”You get your words right a lot. That’s one of your strengths. You have a good vocabulary.“

So I piled it on, the Hasper way. Relational messiness is the norm. And we process it with words. And we help each other feel good again.

It’s good to see my girls living the way they were raised. Comfortable with mess. Lenient, especially when it comes to emotions.

I like it.

I need it myself.

It’s a model for the whole world.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesomeness Randy

  2. Beth L Eldridge says:

    I can relate! lol

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