Learning To Love The Goat

I tweeted this morning about something political. While I wouldn’t normally do that, I can also feel the sweet relief of having a voice that is heard by some people who might be like-minded.


This was my tweet: “When I was a kid we didn’t all get trophies just for participating.

Side Note: I also don’t attend violent riots when things don’t go my way”


Am I blaming the parents? Maybe. My personal experience is that if I attended violent riots every time something didn’t go my way, my Mother would scold me and shame me into growing up and being a mature adult who has some common courtesy.

Was my childhood something like a fairytale? Only if it was a realistic one that included low-income, abuse, divorce, near poverty, and leaving home at 16 years old. I guess if you like that type of fairytale then you could say I had a perfect childhood.

The difference is that I had a Mom who told me a few things about life without sugarcoating it. Here are her major talking points:


  1. You can be anything you want to be. But you have to work for it.
  2. There is never any excuse for being rude to anyone. Ever.
  3. If you’re not good at sports, find something else you’re good at and do that.
  4. You want a dog? That’s cute. Here’s a goat instead.


My reasons for telling you this is because it actually worked. I came from a very low income home, moved out when I was 16 years old, and I’ve worked hard to make my dreams come true. I lived in my car for a short time, I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum, I’ve traveled the world, and I’ve excelled at self-education because my school system failed to educate me enough as a child. In other words, I worked for it. Nothing was given to me by society, I didn’t inherit anything, and I most certainly didn’t stage a protest when something crushed my hopes and dreams of what I thought I wanted.


I know that there are a lot of good parents out there who might see their kids protesting in the streets and they wonder what they are thinking. Maybe the parents are out there protesting along with their kids. And maybe they don’t know any better. But I can see this culture developing in our society that scares me. It’s a primary reason why I don’t have any children of my own so far. I don’t know if I could explain this behavior properly to them without sugarcoating it. How do you tell a child that some people in the world will act this way, like spoiled children, but they aren’t allowed to because they should be better than that?


I want to reach out to the people who are protesting and rioting in the streets who feel like the recent election didn’t go their way. All of them feel offended. And none of them seem to be grateful for the rights and privileges that our country provides to them freely.


Instead of protesting or rioting, or holding up a sign and blocking traffic maybe they should go do something about it. Maybe they should educate themselves about politics and go run for public office so that they can make a difference in the world in a sophisticated way. Maybe they should write a letter to their local politicians about how they feel, or they should attend a town hall meeting to truly understand what is going on in their community. Maybe they should have actually voted for the candidate that they are rioting for.

It goes back to the talking points my Mom made years ago when I was a little girl. You can be anything you want to be, but you’re going to have to work for it.

If you want to change the world, be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t scream and throw a fit in the road like a spoiled rotten child. Don’t be rude to people who have their own issues in life just because their views don’t perfectly align with your own.


And if you’re wondering why I put #4 in that list of things my Mom said, about the goat, this is the point: Did I want a goat? No. Did I want a dog? Yes. But my Mom saw the benefit in giving me something that I didn’t want, but I could grow to love and accept. Did I riot in the streets when my Mom gave me a baby goat and I was embarrassed of what my friends would think? No, I taught that goat how to do tricks that a dog couldn’t even do. It turned out to be one of the coolest pets in town. I made the best of a situation that I didn’t think I had wanted to be in. And I would never have recognized the potential of that goat if I had protested and rioted over it just because I didn’t get my way.

The moral of the story: Train up your child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

One thought on “Learning To Love The Goat

  1. Very well stated Julie as you know our childhoods were very similar especially me on my own also at 16. Probably fewer opportunities for females but your exceptional survival skills brought you through those early years. And guess what? We won!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s