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Archive date:  January 15, 2015

Sincerest Form of Flattery

Imitation.  We all do it.  There are few thoughts or actions any of us have that are truly original. We may not intentionally be copying someone else, but that which surrounds us influences us greatly. We don’t have to necessarily like something or aspire to it, often it simply happens.

Growing up, we cannot escape the gravitational forces our parents have on us.  My dad actually had a ‘tractor-beam’.  His was not an energy force used for snaring spacecraft.  It was a piece of timber dragged behind the tractor, a grading apparatus.  It never really caught on…I digress.

It would seem no matter how hard we try, without regard to how much certainty we muster; we cannot deny the forces that genetics and proximity force upon us. There is an undeniably profound event that happens.  This event can acquire more than one form.  It might be visual, a glance out of the corner of your eye as you pass a mirror. It might be auditory.  You not only catch yourself repeating the words of your parent, but it actually sounds like them. Oh my goodness! Then, possibly the worst of all: Self-awareness.  You realize you are standing the way, you swore your whole life, you would never stand.  For me it is that way my grandmother and my father would stand; wrist bent on the hip, palm pointing outward, one knee bent and shoulder slouching.  It is about as awful and confounding of a trait that was ever passed on. I fear for my now adult children.

My life-long friend and songwriter extraordinaire Angela Kaset expresses the sentiments I feel best, in her lighthearted and witty, “Turning Into My Mother”, from her Insideout CD. According to the song, “She can make you sick, she can make you well, and for whatever ails you, she’s got a pill, she’s a master of laying on hands and guilt, I’m turning into my mother!”

Fortunately, moms and dads survive their moms and dads and apparently so have we. I guess that is the sincerest form of flattery.

David Bates