One of the reasons why it’s important to care so much (about living life well and pouring love into our family and seeking to be the most effective parent and spouse out there) is because we should want things to be real. Like for real. Lots of people settle for charade because it gives the illusion that everything is for-real. But it is far better to embrace the for-real life with all of its imperfections and shortcomings (while leaning towards a better tomorrow) than to pretend that appearances are the only thing that matter. We have to look deep inside ourselves and examine the heart of things. Our heart, the heart of the relationship we are fostering (with our children, with our spouse/co-parent, with ourselves), and the heart of our family. If things aren’t genuine, then the truth will come out eventually. Maybe not today. But someday. We trade in the greater prize that comes later for the momentary reward of getting what we want now (that we gain through deceptive/manipulative measures). And we trade in the greater prize (that we work for with diligence and wait for with patience) for believing the false thinking that other people’s thoughts and opinions matter much. It matters little (if at all) what others think—so if we are unhappy, unfulfilled, unsettled, unclear, or un-real about our life as it is, then it’s up to us and only us to do something about it so that a real and lasting positive change can happen without a charade.