I am my parents’ daughter and proudly so. I would never exchange my parents for any other parents in the world, however great and famous they may be, however humble they may be. They are my perfect fit.
However, after all is said and done, I owe my life to my parents for giving me an awesome childhood. They instilled traits that have served me well to this age in my life. They boosted my confidence and self esteem as a child; and as my family and friends would attest -it really takes a lot to put me down. I am not ashamed to say this as unAfrican as it may seem ‘ I love my parents!!!!’ -the both of them to the end of time and more.
I am going to base my argument from nuggets of wisdom I keep on picking from characters in the Bible. Pardon me but the Bible is my True North.
Despite and inspite your parents’ choices in life, whether they goofed in parenting or not, whether you agree to their life’s choices or not we are admonished to honor them as one of the ten commandments. I don’t know about you, but I hope for a long and satisfying life and immense wealth which is one of the promises from obeying this great commandment. I would like to imagine that the converse is true; disrespect to your parents generally leads to a life of struggle and suffering. Honoring your parents means not being ashamed of them irrespective of their circumstances.
Obedience to parents does not apply to small children but to adult children too. The Bible uncategorically admonishes us to obey our parents. We are to obey our parents within ethical and moral confines. To this day and age, I commune a lot with my parents, ‘the wisdom of the old’ as Mummy calls it. Because they have traveled this road before me, they are a great resource in many issues that I am going through in life and I have discovered that when I have followed their advice many a time I have ended up exceling. In the same breathe, I have fallen and dusted my self several a time by stubbornly refusing to accept their point of view.
My peeps, I write this not as a lecturer but from my frailty as a child of parents. Life is a cycle. In an ideal world parents rear and raise their children to adulthood with loads of love and affection..as our parents begin aging we are obliged to reciprocate and give them the care and love they deserve. It pains me to hear of people posting great photos of themselves on facebook yet their parents live in abject squalor and loneliness. We are to share every resource that the good Lord has blessed us with with our parents and you truly do not have to be the world’s richest man or woman for that matter to show love to your parents. This care should be shown in all aspects; be custodians of their physical health, show them that their life still counts -senior age sometimes has a way of
making one feel irrelevant, surprise them with treats (according to their taste), exercise loads of patience with them, incorporate them in celebrating family milestones, take time off for them, make that random phone call, celebrate their achievements, support their finances if need be, remind them of the good old days and really laugh about them. Upscale them with new trends that make them fit in with changes in the world(a small victory for my Dad and I was having my Dad create and present his own lectures in Powerpoint, moving him from paper based to laptop based work and using the internet as a resource tool). Challenge them..this is especially true in older age when role reversal begins and the child begins to take up the role of care giver to their parent.
Don’t wait for a funeral service to celebrate your parent..say to them all the good things about them now!!!
For those whose parents are physically gone..you can still love and honour your parents in ways that fulfill their legacy. Cherishing hopes and dreams they may have had. Immortalizing them by never letting their memory die. Finishing projects they may have begun.
In Africa, we say that children are their parents’ eye. Always look out for your parents’ best interests. Don’t be a source of grief to your parents.Take their name to greater heights..build the family brand.
In closing, I like to think of Joseph and the special relationship he had with his father Jacob to a fault that his siblings became envious. When Joseph met his brothers after the longest of time, the first person he asked about was his Dad. Joseph ensured that his Dad died a happy old man and honored and obeyed him by taking his remains to be buried at home which was his dying wish. Small wonder that though one of the younger children in his family, Joseph ended up excelling in life and taking up the leadership role in his family. And because of this relationship with his father, his sons; Manasseh and Ephraim were beneficiaries and got their own share of personalized blessings from their grandfather.
Reflect on this….pick up the phone…make that random call ….as we see in a nutshell tomorrow what an ideal parent ought to be like.