The natural reaction to a topic like this is simply, “why would anyone do this to those who give birth to us?”
My parents mean the world to me, and while I have been married for fifteen years, and have seen my parents transform from spirited adults who were always there for my brother and me, always encouraging us to explore and learn more, even agreeing to send us far away from home to becoming more emotional about us not spending enough time with them as we chase our dreams and make the best of our 40’s. And when the magazine approached me to write on the subject, it touched a cord and stuck a note immediately. I have a dear friend who breaks down every now and then because she does not have what we have – a hand over her head, just knowing there is someone to turn to.
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What compels many who distance themselves from those who nurtured them in their hour of need is indeed a disturbing trend. Does it speak of society so caught in a competitive web of expectations and outcomes that we leave the ones who taught us everything to fend for themselves perhaps because their voice won’t be heard? Their voice is not loud enough?
As a society are we so blinded by our own needs and selfish opportunities that a few minutes away from our material wants and needs does not permit us to worry about our elders.
One can argue that difficult childhood days may make some a little colder-hearted than perhaps those who receive all the comforts and securities while growing up, and perhaps for them to remain sensitive and caring could be a challenge but the beauty of our Indian values is the ability to forgive, forget and move on. In in my mind finding that space within your heart to help and assist those that may have caused you harm shows true character. What can have aged people possibly have to give anyway? Might as well seek their blessings!
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For those who pursue their own goals and leave their parents to their destiny, I can only hope that regret and pain do not surround them or the realization hits them so late that nothing can be salvaged. No point crying over something that cannot be reversed, so while you have the chance, salvage it.
Friends and careers will come and go…and those memories will be replaced by new ones but knowing you were there for your parents and you cared about them will be a perfect thank you for all the times they sacrificed when you were younger and needed that support.
It is your chance to be that parent … be the parent to your child. Seize it. It is worth a thousand prayers.
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