“Love liberates,” declares the great octogenarian poet, Maya Angelou.  In two words, Angelou articulates the second trait of the most admirable, creative and joyous people—whom I call the good among the great.

The trait is to be loving; and to have deep, long-lasting loves; and for those loves to be highly respectful of the person adored.  These are loves that don’t smother or bind, even when between parent and child.

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battle-hymn-of-the-tiger-motherOnce in a while, I will publish a Guest Post from a fellow blogger, examining a particular Trait or highlighting an individual who is deserving of special attention. The following book review was contributed by Mary Dodd.  As she says, it’s “A moment of reflection from a mom in the trenches….”

It is a cruel irony that parents of small children have the greatest need for advice about parenting, but have no time to read or reflect on any of it.  I consciously took time out of my day (out of my sleep, to be honest) to read two books this week in an attempt to remedy that situation.   In a study of contrasts, I looked at both Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and The Good Among the Great.

[Below is a video of Poosie Orr of Pittsburgh on “letting kids do what they want to do…” And her comments on helicopter parents.]

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If Abraham Maslow is correct and only 1 percent of us are truly healthy psychologically, then we have to be alert to those who are.  Once you’re familiar with the 19 Traits that he identified, this 1% of extraordinary people are quite easy to spot.

For an example, you need look no further than a November 6th New York Times profile of Deborah Cavendish, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.  It’s titled “A Duchess With a Common Touch,” and with that title alone you know that this person has at least one of the 19 Traits– she is egalitarian.

We quickly learn that this 90-year old aristocrat “transformed Chatsworth, one of the grandest of England’s grand houses from a museum-like relic into a family house and a self-sustaining business.”  Which of the Traits does the old Duchess exhibit?

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