have you ever questioned yourself, how would your perfect family be?
of course you have.
but from what I see, as people move on to their later stages in life, most tend to forget about their old ones.
as you get busier and busier with your life, your old parents sitting at home calling you would be such a bothersome thing. you just DO NOT have time for them. but heck, you have time for your friends and your kids. first ask yourself why do you not have time for them. well, stop giving excuses because what they talk about is just plain annoying to you.
have you ever thought about them? how would you feel if someone you love so dearly ignores you. you said you’ll call back but you never did. you said you will come visit more often but you see them for only a few times in a year. you visit them but you end up watching the tv. yes, your friends might be much more entertaining. but you must always always always remember that friends come and go, and you can’t choose your family. and that your family will always love you no matter what (excluding siblings, if you are not close with them.) when you do get the quality time, just spend 5 minutes. only 5 minutes, take their hand, and express your love. tell them you appreciate their sacrifice, tell them you’re all good, and most importantly, tell them you love them. what’s there to be shy at when you are one big family? how difficult is it to add the extra “I love you” in your sentence and make them happy. expressing that you appreciate their love does not take any money.
another type of not filial children is because of jealousy. “oh so you want me to love you when you have loved my other sibling so much more? please, I remembered how you’ve treated me. you barely gave me any love. I will remember how I feel so clearly and I will distribute my love for my kids in the future with no doubt. ” that used to be my biggest problem. I felt like my mother had always loved my elder sister. she gets all the new clothes, new car, love, and on top of all? my mom had told me all my life.. “why can’t you be like your sister?” and I had resented my mother. I would get 2nd hand clothes from my sister and drive her 7 year old car since our age gap is so huge and she’d get to get a brand new car, again. I’d always complain that life is not fair being the younger child.
it wasn’t until I get to live alone that I am awaken by my childish thoughts. for some people who’s not as lucky to be aware of their childish thoughts and be dreaded by it their whole life, I have to say, I really pity them. to live with hate is such a difficult thing. and to live with an extra person to love is such happiness that money can never buy. yes, I might not get a new car upon graduating secondary school, and yes, I might have to wear second hand clothes. so what? you’re one family, you share. you don’t go jealous over such petty little things. why waste when you can still use them? and there is always a SITUATION. if they are given a choice, they would be equal but it is always the situation which make them make such decisions. but you should really know that they love you just as much and it is always the given situation. and you have a part in caring for them in the future no matter what because it SHOULDN’T be a form of repayment, but a form of love, which comes without measurements.
so I chose to study overseas. can I be jealous of my sister whom has the luxury of coming back to a loving family who would set a healthy meal (with soup!) for her waiting for her to devour while I work my ass off while studying and barely eating twice a meal a day? NO. should my sister go on hating on my parents whom had sent me overseas but not her (which she insisted not to) even though she’s older? NO. because love is the reason enough for her to be glad to see me doing something I want to do. and I am now contented. I chose my path of life. and I am really glad my mother supported me and I knew my mother have always supported and cared for me even though she could not show it physically. why? because I am lucky enough to have a mother who is very good in expressing her inner feelings.
but there are parents who don’t. and they shall never be treated indifferently. especially boys. I’ve asked my classmates from China during my first year in University “so how often do you talk to your parents?” “errr… once in a month or two? normally when I need them to send me money or something.” he answered. I was gobsmacked. and then I recalled. most children, and even spouses call their parents/other half ONLY when they need something. why? because they know they’d definitely help or have a much higher chance of helping. again, WHY? because you know they love you and they’d help you no matter what. and yet you say they don’t love you.
if they don’t love you, they won’t bloody care for you since you’re a child.
maybe it is just built-in in our bodies. that we take goodness for granted and we will remember every little thing that wasn’t fair to us. forever. but again, hating is only hurting yourself. your resent will stay within you and it will eat you up. you’re going to keep thinking about it and be unhappy and not contented. maybe even being a parent yourself will not make you realise how you should treat your own parents. but only with one short call asking them about their health, if they are well, have they eaten, or just a simple “what are you doing” would change their day very much. retired old people are not just free, they are bored and they need love.
no matter how much I’ve hated confucianism for some of their really old fashioned thinking of the way to succeed through a crazy amount of burning the midnight oil with studying, I couldn’t agree more on their part on filial piety. well not every single part but most of it. family will always be family and no matter how screwed up it is, your parents will always love you (unless they are on drugs or are literally psychotic.)
I know you have seen this MANY MANY TIMES and is sick of it. but take a minute or two and give your parents a call. show them you love them. not because calling them is a responsibility, but because you want to listen to their voices. if you think they are wrong, reason with them. you’re an adult. if they are always nagging, learn how to get used to it because one day it will be you repeating those same phrases over and over again (you have your parent’s genes you know. and karma is the strongest when it comes to family!) learn how to appreciate your parents. and by learning how, life will give you an extra ounce of happiness naturally.
Is somebody feeling filial guilt, Jamie ?
Mys sister and I, never got along well with my mother.. Maybe because of our childhood experience. But I always find myself calling her whenever I am free even though, I know that our conversation would often turn into a fight. Sheesshh, but I can never change her so I need adjust always.
Hihi. I cried reading this post..
I agree with a lot of the things you said in this. Most parents wants to know that their kids are doing well, so a call to just let them know what’s going on in your life and that ur doing well, would make them very happy.
And a call once a month to ask for help or money, may be a bit sad but atleast the kids know that the parents are there for them. I call my parents sometimes to just talk even though I don’t really want to or have anything to say. But they appreciate that I did, and my parents who’s retired have a lot of time and they do feel bored. Even if the conversation is boring, they just care about that you thought of them.