On the Subject of Nurturing

Father God

What about nurture?

Coming to my mind – in Oxford University (UK), they have a practice or tradition of students being in meetings with their professors – a one to one kind of meeting to discuss and improve their work, and to write essays and papers. This appealed to me because I believed this was the right way to become educated. I love the idea of Oxford and being a student there.

In my life, nurturing is a big deal – my parents nurtured me, mostly my Mom who was my guide and mentor in all things. My father stood as the disciplinarian, the one who told me once to quit smoking and was the Voice of Authority.

As an only child, I wanted and sought out nurturers in my life. There were few. Besides my Mom, these may have been friends and teachers and in my graduate life, that was my PhD major professor. He wasn’t too nurturing as he was busy. But, he made sure that I was ‘protected’ from those who would wish to tear my project apart. He came to all my presentations, and then asked me what my wish would be – do I want to become an MD or a PhD? Or did I want to major in Biochem or in Pharmacology. These are not at all out of the ordinary for a major professor to do, but that was something I appreciated.  And it was nurturing. And, he enjoyed eating the Asian food I brought to work when we celebrated birthdays and achievements.

Nurturing children to become good students is a key thing. Nurturing students to succeed in their chosen field of study is most important. The trajectory of nurturing is in direct opposition to the progress of an individual’s growth, I fear. I fear that there are no older guides who are there to see to it that a growing or young adult is on the right path to becoming the best they can be. In terms of work, the ones who appear to be nurturers besides the management and higher levels of the company would be the human resources director and her staff. I know from experience that she would be checking to make sure everything was where and how they ought to be. That they are happy, content, filled with new projects etc.

But it isn’t really enough, though is it? To my mind, nurturing is mainly relegated to babies and nurseries. When the babies have been let out of school in the 7th grade, they are almost done with nurturing them. In church, nurturing is good as well, and this activity can be in the care of children while the parents are being given religious ‘food’ but the best part is when the children go to Sunday School. The nurturing there happens only on Sundays, and then the rest of the child’s life is taken to the four winds the rest of the week.

What I’m trying to say in so many words, though, is that we ALL NEED CONSTANT NURTURING. Self-love, maybe so – and that is the topic of another blog post (see MarianMusings.com). But, I mean – that love of a better and older, wiser person – those would be our parents. It behooves us Parents to nurture our children NO MATTER how old they are. To those who have no parents remaining, there are the aunts and great aunts, the grandparents and godparents. In the tradition of baptism, the godparents are given the task of taking over the raising of children of the family if both parents were to die suddenly before the children are of adult age.

Seek out the nurturers in your world. If you see the sign at the office “Your Mother DOES NOT WORK HERE” that only means you need to bus your tables and clean up after you have had your morning coffee. But it seems to hint at the fact that one cannot expect a “mother” or “nurturer” in that office.

It seems to me that the workplace is where nurturers are lacking. I don’t see supervisors being nurturers where I have worked. It seems that all work is geared towards the production of something. Not of someone. I suppose you can’t really expect a company to turn out better employees. Yet, isn’t that something that one could expect? Why not? If one were to go to another company and tell them they worked for A and company B is thinking “I’ve seen A employees and boy, they are great!” Is not that a good sign that A company was somehow nurturing? I don’t mean diaper changes and timely readings of bedtime stories. NO, I mean, that the company needs to improve the education of their employees in a nurturing way.

if a company fails an employee, that is deserves thirty lashes of a leather splint across the back. Well, I’m being facetious. But if an employee is someone who has had many good things to say and many good projects that they’ve done, and that company has marginalized that employee without much ado, then I’d say the company is comatose and is on life support.

Of course, nurturing an employee can be dangerous, can’t it? There are those who don’t think their coworkers should be nurtured. Why that person and not me? Then if that happens, nurturing must be equitable. But there are elements of fairness that aren’t present in many companies. It is then that an employee needs to decide whether he or she is in need of nurturing elsewhere. Or, if one can’t move or is somehow beholden to that company, then the nurturing must definitely come from “extra-terrestrial” sources.

I’m finding that this is how everyone must seek their Nurturers. I am suggesting that one seek Sunday school all over again. Sundays for nurturing the individual is perfect. One goes to have church services, and then maybe a hearty lunch, and then a little nap and then settle down to read, or write about how things could be improved in one’s life. Taking the ideas of what was discussed at church service and putting those against what one is going through in life. I’m suggesting a prescription of nurturing – asking a Higher Being to be part of one’s life and becoming THE ONLY and ONE NURTURER. It’s simple enough. Father God, you would begin, help me here because I need nurturing.

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