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My Daughter Cared Enough, Maybe I Should Listen

Text Message, "Don't Eat Meat Today"Mmmm…. It’s Friday of what’s been a long week, I’ve got a great pulled beef sandwich in my lunch, and it’s just about time to crack it open. Simple pleasures.

Hey, the buzz of a text message. Likely my freshman daughter who often sneaks a peak at her texts during lunch at school. Always fun. Let’s see, four simple words, “Don’t eat meat today” Oh yeah… it’s a Friday during Lent.

I paused and stared at the screen for a moment. We’re a Christian family, so I could do the right thing and abstain from the tasty treat in my desk drawer; or, I could dismiss her message and dive in. After all, the leftover laden sandwich is what I happen to have for lunch. As I considered this, my thoughts evolved beyond my own personal discipline, but to the point of listening to my daughter. She had sent the message as it was important to her. We may not always agree, but I respect her and her opinions.

It’s easy to get in the groove of always feeling the need to be the adult and not reciprocating the respect inherent in truly listening. If you raise your children right, then the judgment and insight they develop as they get older should be a reflection of that. Listen, and you can learn from them as they have learned from you.

The sandwich got a pass that Friday, and a couple bean burritos from the Taco Bell down the street made up my lunch. Still tasty, yet garnished with a greater respect for my daughter.

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