As I find myself doing a lot these days I was having a think earlier about my parents, my relationship to them, my feelings regarding them and so forth, and this beaten track, familiar line of thought led me to some other paths I began to explore, to putting a small comparative study of various parenting styles together in my head, based on a few years of informal observation. Much of the following will probably relate to me in a pretty big way but bear with me.

There is fundamentally little difference between an authoritative parent and one who wants their kids' best friend. Yes the last part of that sentence is missing a couple of words but it looks better that way. So anyway, the different kinds of relationship somebody can have with their parents is mainly down to the .. I hate to use the term 'child', seeing as people of all ages have parents, but it will have to do. So it's dependant on the child, and more accurately their gender, if gender has anything to do with the kind of person somebody is, which it almost definetely does. This factor is more essential to the question because the kind of person somebody is (this is clearly not a scientific study and was never intended to be, but for now it explains certain things for me relatively elegantly) will affect how they respond to their environment.

Since I first started living apart from my parents, I've noticed two major changes in my head and my life: firstly I'm noticing that this is a great position to evaluate aspects of my life from, probably because I'm no longer on the inside of certain parts of my life.. and secondly my father seems to be beginning to trust me, and more significantly respect me. We have always had a great relationship- sporadically, intercut with periods of fury or indifference, but now I am approximately a grown man he seems to be speaking to me as an equal. Now we put up fences together as opposed to me helping him put up fences. This change has been very interesting for me as I now know my dad as having being both a patriarch and a friend.

There are definite fundamental differences between men and women and nobody should ever apologise for thinking so. It is a very complicated subject and nobody is ever 1 or 0, most of us will be somewhere on a spectrum within the normal distribution range, but on the whole, men will mainly be found more towards one side of the scale, and women will group together on the other side, (like elephants)- women tend to be better with people, and men tend to be better with machinery. There is a reason why professions in which problem solving skills and spatial awareness are an advantage are dominated by men (there are female mechanics but in my experience they seem to think more like men than women- though if I recall correctly, there are no female pilots who work for commercial airlines.)

Men (and any further use of general terms like 'men' and 'women' and 'negroes' should be regarded as general terms, statistically typical cases) like the world to be a certain way, and have a vague-to-definite idea about what they would like it to look like. A man will spend a considerable chunk of his life on making his environment more comfortable or practical or economical, to improve it in some way, in baby steps or bounds.

Until my teenage years I got on very well with my parents, never saw any reason to be deliberately antagonistic towards them. If I ever pissed my parents off as a kid it was just a kid being a kid and there was never anything malicious behind any of it. Then a surreal pocket of time sucked me into it which drove me to do things like whack off until I bled, and predictably enough it was around this time that my parents seemed to be beginning to exert unreasonable levels of control on me. In retrospect it seems that they were trying to allow me more freedoms and space over that time but I hadn't given them any reason to trust me and plenty of reason not to. It looked at the time like I was giving them the continent and they were demanding the hemisphere, but all it was was a lot of unnecessary anger which could have been avoided completely had I been more mature.

The interesting thing is though, that they've never bothered to try to control my sister, which is because she has always been happy to do what they ask of her anyway. My sister is one of the happiest people I have ever known, completely relaxed in her environment all the time. She shares a frequency with my parents I suppose, which my brothers and I probably do not.

It's like this free energy idea that's being thrown around these days, that unhappiness comes out of frustration, which comes out of the difference between what we would like the world to look like and the world we are presented with. I don't know what sense they mean 'energy' in, I think it's supposed to be an abstract concept. I'm also not sure how much support this idea has but it seems to explain some things in a way that probably means nothing at all.

So boys have a certain way they want the world to be and when we find the world doesnt look like we want it to it pisses us off. My sister's advantage seems to be that she has been pre tuned into the world she was to be born into, prenatally.

Middle age, close to retirement, his kids are all grown up and he maybe has a couple of grandchildren, the house is all paid for, he has found an occupation that satisfies him.. this is almost invariably the situation that I see the happiest men I know in, living off the fruit that grew out of the stuff they've worked for all their life and their genetic code in safe hands. The exceptions are either actually miserable on the inside or they have found a better way for themselves but the principle remains the same.

It's about letting your environment be what it is, and just enjoying the view, because complaining achieves practically nothing. To a point of course, starving to death in a pool of your own faeces, losing all your teeth, that can't be much fun. I mean as far as learning to work with what you have rather than wishing you were in a more comfortable situation. We can be exactly as happy with life as we want to be. Abraham Lincoln said an approximation to that.