Madeleine Kando's Blog

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Madeleine Kando

Madeleine Kando
May 25
Movement Therapist, Owner of 'The Children's Arts Corner' Blogs at:


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FEBRUARY 2, 2011 7:52AM

Who is in Charge?

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I wish I was like my daughter Aniko. She still believes that everything in life can be'fixed', if you only put in the effort. It is a wonderful way to look at the world. Armed with her rock solid belief in the power of the rational mind, she goes through life like Athena, the Goddess of war. There is this slight feeling of cold toughness about her view of life, but war goddesses, after all, need a hard, metal armor to be efficient.

Yes, she is convinced that in the boxing ring of life her intellect is ample protection against the punches that come her way. With her strong, graceful and humorous personality, she approaches problems as if they were pets with behavior problems.

Granted, some breeds are tougher than others, but a rational approach will surmount any obstacle. You just need to observe, analyze, break apart if necessary and put pets back together the 'right' way.

What's the mystery about that!? Why would you have to put up with unhappiness, torment, ambivalence, uncertainty, contradiction, doubt, indecision or vacillation? Those words do not mean anything to my daughter. She swats them away like bothersome flies when the need arises.

You see, part of me takes pleasure in conflict. It gives the web of my life some tension. I don't really enjoy smooth sailing ALL the time. I would'nt want to have chronic stress, but a healthy daily dose of trouble gives spice to my days. Besides, I have had enough time to graduate from the school of hard knocks to know that my daughter's enviable illusion is far off the mark.

Someone up there must have been paying attention when they assembled her. She was handed a straight flush, right from birth. She is charming, balanced, pretty, considerate and oh so sociable. The envy of neurotic individuals like myself.

But what's going to happen to her when the shit hits the fan? Is she going to be prepared? How is she going to react when one of the millions of bad things that can happen to good people is going to come her way?

Or is it true that bad things only happen to people who 'attract' bad luck? Does she have built-in anti-shit protection? Up to now (she is already in her thirties) facts bear out this hypothesis. Shit, in any significant amount, has not come her way yet.

It's not like she leads a protected life: she takes risks. She travels around the world with just a backpack and her confidence and charm as her only weapons. But she also has an extremely sharp sense of self-preservation. When she has to choose between what's good for her and not so good for someone else, there is no hesitation. That's what leaves me breathless: her ability to remove this oh so familiar feeling of being pulled in two directions from her list of options.

Is there such a thing as 'self fulfilling prophecy'? Some people, who don't like to take risks, who do not travel, do not meet new people for fear of rejection, always find themselves holding the short end of the stick. Bad things come their way all the time. Their attempts at insulation does not prevent trouble from piling up on them.

When my oldest visits from far away California, I prepare myself. I don my rational coat and tell myself: 'Ok, Madeleine, for the next few days, put all that sentimental crap on the backburner, Aniko is coming. You better behave yourself.'

Here I am, writing about her, wondering how she will react when she reads this post. I am conflicted, ambivalent, not sure if I should remove her from my list of recipients. You see? There it is: insecurity! That's another word that doesn't fit in my daughter's world view.

Soon she will be gone. I will look back on her visit and our conversations about how to 'fix' the problems that have piled up in my life. But how do you 'fix' an overwhelming feeling of helplessness when you watch someone you deeply love self-destruct? How do you 'fix' the paralyzing feeling you get when you discover that injustice is hardwired in the fabric of life? How do you 'fix' loosing someone to war, to accidents, to neglect?

I learned a long time ago that I am not in the driver's seat of many aspects of my own life. Yes, in small things, like deciding what to eat for breakfast or what color shirt to wear, but even that is doubtful.

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