Obstacles - How Do I Justify It?


The dictionary defines justify as 'to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded'.  Why is this even a category or concern?  Do you have trouble rationalizing a 'fancy' vacation when you could really use a new sofa and your basement carpet should be replaced?  It becomes a 'battle' to determine what is more important to you, carpet or memories.  If your car is falling apart and your hot water tank is on it's last legs then taking a good look at your finances is in order and priorities are priorities.  However, consider needs versus desire.  Do you NEED the new sofa or would it just be nice to have?  Do you NEED to upgrade your car/house/appliances?  Do you NEED to go on a vacation?  No, but it sure would be nice.  Maybe the sofa can wait.

AntwerpYou'd be surprised at how many skeptics we encountered the first time we told people that we were taking our kids to Europe.  At the time they were 3 and 5, and the amount of people that expressed delight for us was equally matched by people who felt we were borderline insane.   Many people have no problem dropping thousands of dollars on a yearly Disney or beach vacation yet consider Europe completely out of reach.  Whether it's due to a perceived cost or the  intimidation of traveling so far, you may encounter a few skeptics when you divulge your plans.  Don't feel guilty, feel excited.  You should be!  You don't need to be rich (or crazy!) to take a trip to Europe, you simply need to research, plan, and prioritize.

We are lucky enough to have family in Europe, and the ability to visit them and expose our children to the culture of their cousins was more than enough justification for any nay-sayers.  We have visited with our family a few times, but we have also gone to Europe without visiting them - thus erasing our 'justification'.  Exposing the kids (and ourselves) to different cultures and history is plenty reason to visit a foreign country - or simply any new destination for that matter.  Traveling to a new place, whether in your own country or elsewhere in the world, opens your eyes to new things and enhances your understanding of people and how you fit into the global society.

We have a responsibility as parents to take our child from a needy baby to a self-sufficient adult.  Not only by feeding, clothing and generally caring for them, but by teaching them right from wrong and helping them grow into an effective member of society.  We need to give them responsibilities and help them push their boundaries.  Make them feel safe, but also realize that to grow you occasionally need to feel uncomfortable.  We need to show them that there is a world outside of their home, their community, their city… and that people live in that world in a way differently than we do.  This can be achieved with books and movies, but nothing is more effective then actually seeing things with your own eyes.  Smelling, tasting, experiencing.   That is more than enough justification for anything!


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