T S Haokip
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12
The sacrifice made by parents, only fathomable to some at a much later stage of life, is, without doubt, the manifestation of loving someone beyond oneself. Across the world, irrespective of nationality, faith, and colour, parents stood up to give life to their children by spending theirs’. How does one judge the success of parents? Are there yardsticks and if so, how fair are those? Irrespective of the outcome children eventually become in life, all parents deserve phenomenal respect for having brought up a life.
From the moment a child is born, sleepless nights and tiresome days delimit the lives of parents who have their desires and interest side-lined to make sure the young ones enjoy things as basic as sufficient sleep; places they would want to go have to be forgone; some have to even give up particular foods no matter how strong is the urge; it goes on. As the children grow up, the challenge seems to only escalate to a higher level, like in games; tougher and more complex. Schooling and disciplining become the next ordeal, requiring meticulous planning. Then they’d grow up and may eventually got married. But the role of parents does not stop there, even after the children become parents themselves.
Have you ever compared your parents to others? There was a time when I would have a bucket list of things I’d do and not do when I become a parent myself; a list which records the presumed drawbacks of parenting styles of my parent. These thoughts do not last long, especially when one shoulders the role of a parent and when a simple thing like ‘raising the stick is right or wrong’ bothers you for days without any conclusive take on the issue. Fortunate are those who realised this before circumstances compelled them to. There is absolutely no ‘one size fits all’ parenting style. Each child is precious in their own way. The same case is with parents; each has its own unique style. It is the duty of children to trust and obey their parents; for, no parents would wish for the misgivings of their children.
It is often said that youths are the pillar of the future. But it is not generally bothered- then, who are the present pillars? I have witnessed many young people with brilliant minds slowly fading into obscurity not because of any wrong parenting styles but due to the failure of those youths in heeding their parents’ loving words. Similarly, I have seen people with average intellect excelling in life, all because they remember their parents’ humble words. While the future may hold promising and hopeful, it is the efforts rendered at present, which can make or mar our future. This is where the role of parents deserved an acknowledgment at the highest level; they are the present pillars of society.
The advice to sleep early and rise at the cock’s crow; punitive measures for flouting study schedules; unsolicited restriction of all possible exciting activities like swimming in the river, loitering at night with friends, etc. and the relentless insistence to maintain both physical and mental cleanliness, though difficult to endured then, were signs that now clearly depict how much they cared. At times, it might appear that parents have encroached into our lives and we might feel the sudden urge to rebel for a free-bird like life, which is when we should remember that a day will come when we’d wish with all our hearts for them to come into our lives; only that it usually is too late for most people should be a precious lesson we’d want to treasure for long.
As children there are plenty of ways to show our love for parents; there is no such small or big gesture. What is important is our intention; to acknowledge their unconditional love and sacrifice. The best we can give to our parents is among all things to be their children always and to honour them as our parents always. For, what is more as parents, to have children who appreciate their parents just the way they are; just the special way they are!
The writer is author of the book HILLY DREAMS