Happy Id, Happy Kid
My older son really wants to learn Korean and he’s been applying himself with an old textbook on his own. However, he admits to struggling to motivate himself and by way of an incentive he wanted to buy himself, something. Something that he normally would not have claimed in the past because of its price tag. He said that this will remind him to study everyday.
I’m continually in awe of my son. In his quiet, unassuming way he steadfastly navigates life on his own terms. I do very little “parenting” because he is independent, clear-headed and trustworthy. I trust him and his judgements because he has self-discipline. But, when he expressed his plan to motivate himself to study harder, he revealed his desires to me and that transported me to a beautiful place called intimacy which I hadn’t shared with him in such a long time. I realized that he desired certain things, material things, that he had denied himself because of their frivolity or cost, and to justify possessing them he wanted to do something to “deserve it”.
This concept of deserving is ingrained in us from the beginning. From deserving dessert only after a meal as a child to only after a workout, as adults. We’re waging a constant battle within ourselves for dominance in the classic Freudian sense. The Id represents one’s deepest desires, the Ego moderates between the Id and the Super Ego which defines the moral construct of one’s environment. And, Freud’s definition of the “Id” has to be put into context because he is a product of the Victorian Era in Austria and was a repressed man. According to Beau Shaw of Columbia College, “Freud’s Austria of the second half of the nineteenth century was characterized by an even more rigorous form of Victorian sexual morality than England, whose sexual delicacy and frigidity is often caricatured.”
For continuity sake, I will use the word Id but my definition of Id is kinder, softer, possesses consciousness, and is the essence of who we are as a person.
Even now, almost a century later, we are terrified of the Id. Donald Trump, comes to mind, as someone who seems to be ruled by his Id. One might say that his Ego is doing a terrible job of holding back the Id. His Ego and Id just might be one and the same. Does he look miserable about it? Is he losing sleep trying to figure out how to be less Id? No, he’s assuredly not. He’s a man who’s embraced his Id and is more powerful for it. The rest of us look at him in either awe or disbelief that he could so blatantly ignore the social contract which the rest of us think we are beholden to. But, are we? What is the social contract? Who or what created it?
Going back to my son, I trust him to indulge his Id without fear that he will turn into someone like Trump. I believe that the secret to happiness lies with accepting one's Id. By giving it love, attention and a voice, the Id is placated. Happy Id, Happy Kid!