Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wasted Years, Really?

"Do you really think your years in the cult were wasted?" a friend asked.

My knee-jerk reaction is to say, "Yes! Of course they were." But on reflection, I find I need to qualify that.

From my years in the cult came:

  • The children born to me. I surely would not have had so many children had I not been in TFI. 
  • An appreciation for the little things in life. Having gone without such things as fresh food, clothes that fit, daily vigorous exercise, I am now deeply thankful for them.
  • The ability to live on a shoestring and to feel real empathy for those who live in poverty.
  • An appreciation for freedom, most of all, freedom of the mind - to read, study, learn, or waste time, as I choose. 
  • The ability to speak with confidence in front of a crowd. It is possible I could have learned this elsewhere and with more proficiency, but I learned it through experience in the cult.
  • Similarly, I learned how to teach children and developed the ability to make learning fun.
  • Again, I could have learned this without having joined a cult, but as a result of my years living abroad, I now have a sensitivity and understanding of culture and cultural differences. I have learned, as the Japanese say, "to read the air."
So, although I would have preferred to have made wiser decisions in my youth, I guess I must conclude that not "everything" was a complete waste.

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