My best friend of 11 years and counting Kennedy Fambarega has decided to pursue his passion in Photography (Click here to see his work). What this means is that we are now a trio with his camera because it goes everywhere with us. So he took me to go book my bus and on our way home he started to appreciate an old man’s face. It seemed a little offish but ay he is my friend so I was with it. He asked to photograph the man for his #EverydayZim photo series and as they were conversing I couldn’t help but overhear and by that I mean I was listening intently with keen interest. The man narrated his story about how all his kids are in South Africa and that they told him to start a business to look after himself. And that sounds awesome except that this man should be well into his retirement.
I started thinking about the parent-child roles in general. Like am I the only one who knew without being told that as soon as I start working I must pay tithes to my Heavenly and Earthly father? Where I come from your ENTIRE first pay check goes to your parents as a token of appreciation. No you don’t get to skim a little off the top for adulting taxes. I thought it went without saying that when your parents approach retirement, its your turn to return the favor and look after them. Of course the good book said you must leave and cleave your parents but uhm I doubt to this extent.
OK, imma play the devil’s advocate and plead for those that had useless parents. You feel like they let you down and they weren’t there for you but here is the thing, you are alive! They fed you, house’d you, clothed you and provided for you begrudgingly but provided still. You didn’t have everything but you had enough. Even if they took care of you out of the fear of what society would say fact remains that you were taken care of. You are an adult now. You cannot still be holding on to childish wounds. GIVE yourself the life you want. Your parents gave you the tools to.
Parenting is subjective. You could be resenting your parents for not doing enough for you whereas your parent feels like they have outdone themselves in raising you. In their minds, they feel like they did the best that they could and you are being ungrateful for demanding more. Ultimately, we are all human. This means we see life through our respective broken lenses. Has it ever occurred to you that your parent is so broken that they couldn’t pour into you a love that they didn’t have themselves?
An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, that’s the way of the world. You could be swearing heaven and earth that you will be a better parent to your children but these subconscious, psychological things are tricky! Because they are engrained so deep within us in a place you can’t reach its almost difficult to fix them. Its almost reflex to act the way you saw people acting when you were growing. Good luck trying to change it.
Forgiveness is the only logical solution. Bitterness will not help you to become a better parent. Your kids will always know the family feuds and you will come across petty and heartless for ditching their grand parents. Set a good example. Treat your parents the way you want your children to treat you. At the end of the day, God said honour your parents. He didn’t say they had to be good at it. They drove you to wrath but its up to you to find your way back from there.