We had the very good fortune of having the time to attend the New Mexico Military Institute’s 118th Celebration of Diversity on May 11, 2012 in the recently renovated Pearson Auditorium. This is the NMMI graduation event that precedes the Baccalaureate/Commencement which this year had Governor Susana Martinez as guest speaker. NMMI located in Roswell, New Mexico is , embarrassingly , sometimes overshadowed by all the UFO lore that permeates this region in southeastern NM.
You may wonder why this writer would categorize this as a moment of impact. The speaker at the NMMI Celebration of Diversity was a preacher named Captain Ramon “Beau” Perez of the Salvation Army and a graduate of the USMA(West Point) in 1982 I believe. One of the more striking features of this gentleman’s speech was the manner in which he called out parents whose perfectionist tendencies might have the effect of stressing out their children. In an age where many speakers are afraid of offending even a single member of the gathering, I was moved by Captain Perez’s willingness to say something that needed to be said whether it hurt feelings or not. Many parents pressure their progeny with the “nothing is good enough” style of parenting.
He spoke of parents who were never quite satisfied with their child’s performance and not just necessarily their academic achievements. Parents who always compare their children’s accomplishments with , say , their neighbor’s kids are not conveying a message of unconditional love to their offspring! Captain Perez even provided a count of the number of times the word blessing appears in the scripture. This momentous word appears over 500 times in the Bible which is certainly a metric of its impact and importance!
If only a single parent was moved by his Sermon to rethink the way they are treating their kids by placing them in the perfection at all costs pressure cooker, then Beau Perez has made a huge difference! Childhood depression is very easy to trigger. Take it easy on your kids.