Most people understand the meaning received giving help but do not give meaning to receiving help. My current "power" struggle with my dad entails who is helping who. To experience meaning in my workings with pops, I tell myself that I am helping him out, helping with "the load of family responsibility" as he so often whines about.
On the other hand, my father experiences meaning in his efforts with me by telling himself that he is helping me establish a career (in carpentry) so that I will have a future. We both have the idea that we are each sacrificing our own freedoms for the benefit of the other. Pops says he can find anyone to replace me, essentially. I don't believe that. I dunno, I guess he could, actually. I love him and have a healthy dosage of family obligation, that's why I am still here.
His favorite saying is, "If you don't follow my way, you will not amount to anything." Not those exact words, but it's basically what I hear. What he actually says is that he does not believe that I have the capabilities to compete in the marketplace. This statement used to hurt me. It still hurts, but moreso gives me fire to disprove him, now that I know more about what I want and what means anything to me. Sometimes, on lonely nights, I wonder if he's right, but not for long.
My dad is so insecure about O.P.P "other people's opinions", especially when it comes to inferiority of knowledge. Quote, "I'm 50 years "experienced". You think I don't know anything?" What is the hidden meaning behind this, pops?
When you work with family, naturally, personal business always mixes in with business business. For example, when we are on the road, traveling to worksites or making equipment purchases or for whatever reason, we always end up talking about family matters or pops is being didactic, teaching me about life and social awareness. His conspiracy is that people are out there to get us. Spend one day with my dad and you'll learn to either love him or hate him. He's an intense personality.
I find that people find meaning in their work by doing the best they can at whatever it is that they do. Charles Barkly, the ex-basketball pro used to say that. And so there is meaning today for me. Back to Wally the Welder(See Nov '04 entries), hey, if he finds meaning being an expert in welding, then that is terrific. Perhaps I can be in expert in meaning one day.
Funny how "let's give them something to talk about" plays on the radio for a father and son pair struggling to bridge the generational gap.
If you're a fan of CBS's "The Amazing Race", my dad makes Ron look like a boy scout.