Wisdom from Mom

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I’ve been considering posting an open letter to the person who cut me off in 2014. I’ll write more about that in the future, but for now, I sent a draft to my mother for her input, and I thought I’d share part of her response with some of my own thoughts.

My mom wrote:

You don’t need to seek anyone else’s input about this gesture towards communication (including mine). As you noted yourself, all your thinking and feeling is your own responsibility.

Looking at my own miscalculations over the years, I think I really do need to seek input. That’s part of my being responsible.

I have suspected that [the person who cut you off] acted on poor advice from someone else when she rejected all communication with you.

I suspect this too.

But no one knows the “directing mind,” as Marcus [Aurelius]’s translator calls it, the way that one knows their own. (I have made my own misjudgements about my decisions, which reminds me that one can feel embarrassed or inadequate without feeling guilty.)

This last line I find absolutely fascinating. It makes me reflect that I very rarely feel embarrassed without feeling guilty. (I more often feel inadequate without feeling guilty.) But embarrassment and guilt are closely linked for me. For example, last term I felt embarrassed by some of my clumsy white teacher moves that failed to help one student trying to discuss racial justice; I also felt (mildly) guilty for it–only mildly because I knew I was really doing my 100% best, but still, well, chagrined. I will have to think more about this link and what it means in my life.

I love my mom!

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About the author

Arwen Spicer
Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer is a science fiction writer and writing teacher raised in the San Fransciso Bay Area, and Northern California will hold her heart forever, even if it turns into a desert. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on ecology in utopian science fiction and is an educator on the concept of workable utopias. Her novel The Hour before Morning was hailed as “A carefully paced, rewarding sci-fi debut” by Kirkus Indie.

Arwen Spicer By Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer

Arwen Spicer is a science fiction writer and writing teacher raised in the San Fransciso Bay Area, and Northern California will hold her heart forever, even if it turns into a desert. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on ecology in utopian science fiction and is an educator on the concept of workable utopias. Her novel The Hour before Morning was hailed as “A carefully paced, rewarding sci-fi debut” by Kirkus Indie.

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