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Parenting Today – New Year Resolutions

presidential pardon
by skampy

Article by Alvaro Castillo

It’s full steam ahead to the all-important New Year’s Day Resolutions. Not meaning to burst your bubble in this regard, here’s a little salutary tale. In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, eight of the most powerful money magnates in the world gathered for a meeting. These eight, if they combined their resources and assets, controlled more money than the US Treasury.

In that group were such illustrious men as Charles Schwab, president of a steel company, Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange, and Arthur Cutton, a millionaire wheat speculator. Albert Fall was a presidential cabinet member, and personally a very wealthy man. Jesse Livermore was the greatest bear on Wall Street in his generation. Leon Krueger headed the largest monopoly. Quite an impressive group of people!

Let’s look at the same group later in life. Charles Schwab died penniless. Richard Whitney spent the rest of his life in prison. Arthur Cutton, the great wheat speculator, became insolvent. Albert Fall was pardoned from a federal prison so he might die at home.

Leon Fraser, the president of an international bank, committed suicide, as did both Jesse Livermore and Krueger. Seven of those eight great money magnates had lives that were disasters before they left planet Earth. What mistake did they make? Thinking that what they had and what they controlled belonged to them. Now, a salutary tale is one that offers a lesson to the teller or the listener, or both.

“What’s all this got to do with parenting?” I hear someone ask. “And what’s it got to do with NYRs?” another rather impatiently queries. Here’s the link. If you are a parent and you decide, or have decided, to make some NYRs for 2008, my advice would be: don’t. At least not until the end of January. Still, whether you make them now or in a month’s time, many of the same challenges will arise for you.

One I want to mention briefly here is the temptation to make resolutions or goals that involve others, especially our children. Do you want your child to be financially prosperous, healthy, happy, wise, good-natured and decent, while getting good jobs that give them satisfaction, due reward and the chance to live a balanced and satisfying life? Of course you do!

However, have a ponder over this little query: Do you know what will be best for your child after he or she turns 18? Perhaps having to endure Leonard Cohen’s “20 years of boredom” might be exactly the spur your youngster will use or need to propel her onto fulfilment fame, fortune, friendship or family in later life. For most folks, regularly making right decisions can only come from experience, and experience comes mostly from making wrong decisions… regularly!

In your NYRs, work toward empowering your children to be able to recover and learn from mistakes, accidents and “failures”. Resolve to empower yourself and them to go for quality, rather than quantity, to create happiness, rather than pursue or expect to find it. To work under the realisation that it is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it is impossible to find it elsewhere. And do remember the “Edgewater Eight”. Many millions envied them their monetary wealth, prestige, power and influence.

Do you envy modern-day Irish millionaires and powerful people? Which would your resolution aim for: your children’s lives to be like a lighthouse in a bog: brilliant… but useless? Or, like an unheralded but dependable, loyal and trusted lighthouse beam, fulfilling its purpose? And remember also: While you have your children in your life, and you may control them, they don’t belong to you.

About the Author

Alvaro Castillo has been helping people with topics relating to pregnancy for 10 years, with positive results. For more information go to or visit to share your opinion

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