Sunday, February 15, 2009

Important to Whom?

I was having lunch one day with a woman who said that her mother was struggling to find meaning in her life after the youngest child in the family had gone off to college.

"My mother has nothing in her life to give her value," she said, slurping on a straw. "She's never done anything of real meaning."

I haven't chatted again with this individual, in part because I wonder how much I'd enjoy another conversation with someone so obtusely selfish.

The mother in this case had been the stay-at-home variety who'd looked after several children -- which meant that there were a number of years when the mother was the most important person in the world to a bunch of little ones. That one of the little ones would grow up to be the oblivious individual sitting across the table from me was disappointing -- after all, it's sad when a person looks on others as existing mostly to gratify one's ego, but to escape adolescence and still be thinking that way about your own mother? What a clueless way to go through life.

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