Friday, June 19, 2009

Father’s Day 2009

Are we the right role models?

On this Father’s day I would like to share an invaluable advice that was given to me by an elderly father in his eighties prior to his death recently. This gentleman, was once a senior government servant, spent his final days of his life in an old folk’s home, lonely and homeless.

According to him, his father was so strongly against bribery and his advice to him was, “If you are dire need of money, you may borrow or even beg for it but never accept bribes however desperate you may be”. As a young government servant he followed his father’s advice very strictly to the extent he could not afford to own his own house and lived in government quarters all his life.

At the age of 86, he was alone and physically fit, but he did not have a place to call home and had to settle for an old folk’s home as his abode. It was the price he had to pay, which he did not regret, for being steadfast in submitting to his father’s stand against corruption.

This simple but true story made me realize the tremendous influence a father could have on his children. There are many like this old man who hold steadfast to the example and advice of their fathers. If only all fathers could influence their children in the right way, the world would be a much better place for all.

Similarly all our fathers too would have left behind some legacy that we as children treasure till our final days in life. We may not follow their advice to the fullest but their words get deeply imprinted in our minds and remain as a conscience in our hearts for years to come. Consciously or otherwise we are guided by the words and deeds of our fathers in whatever we do.

My late father, although he didn’t have much wealth or power, impressed on me that we should never compromise on our principles for the sake of material gain. His simple advice and examples in life remains vividly in mind till today. Although they did not mean much when I was young but today, being a father myself, I seem to appreciate them much more and likewise I am sure my children will also be looking up to me.

Today corruption, disregard for law and order and racial intolerance are the greatest evils facing our country. People from all walks of life, from the top politician to the ordinary man on the street, are willing to do anything for monetary gains. Selfishness and greed seem to have taken the upper hand in ruling the hearts of men. In this pursuit of material wealth there is no place for compassion and empathy for fellow men.

It is undeniable that our fathers had played a very important role in shaping our destiny and for being what we are today. We too likewise may shape the future of our children and the nation. On this father’s day as we express our love gratitude to our fathers, it may be equally important to reflect on our own role as fathers. Are carrying out our responsibilities as a good and exemplary father? Let us ponder on the legacy that we may be leaving behind. What we do today goes a long way to shape the future generation. Let us ask ourselves whether we are the right role model for our children. Are we setting the right examples for them to emulate?

Our nation has reached a critical stage in race relations that has deteriorated over the years. As fathers we can help to arrest and reverse this unhealthy trend by sowing the seeds of sound values, morality, goodwill and love for fellow men in the hearts of our children. Let us show them by our words and actions that we, despite our racial and religious divide, are all Malaysians and must learn to live together in peace and harmony, sharing the common brotherhood of our nation.

Dr.Chris Anthony
June 15,2009


Anonymous said...

I beg to differ! Fathers raping their own daughters! Fathers sexually abusing the maids! Fathers with mounting depts! Some legacy!

By gotmoneyberes, 21-Jun-2009

Dr Chris,well said article,totally agree with many of what is said in the article.

Thanks very much,for this most nicely written article. I value articles like this very much,even much more than what is written in mainstream newsprint media.

I agree all Malaysians must carry on the good works left by our fathers and grandfathers in Malaysia. All young people need a role model older person to value and to copy as role model. It can be anyone to younger youths,it just have to be a mature older person whom they wish to role model.

It does not have to be ,a role model among their family members .

Young today,are facing same problems of the past today,they should use the role models, that they choose to overcome their woes.

Past,present and future is all with many good role models. Choose your own good role model to overcome woes. You can also change your role model, as you mature more in years and require a more mature role model.

By rajakumark, 21-Jun-2009

Anonymous said...

There are two sides to a coin. It depends on which side you are looking at.

drchris is looking at the good side and our poor disillusioned friend gotmoneyberes is looking at the reverse side - the evil side of some fathers.

Unlike drchris, I never enjoyed sharing good advice with my father, I was never really that close to him right up to the very end, yet I still think of the sacrifices he made to bring our large family up, at times having to leave home for long periods, just to earn more to feed us all. He couldn't be there for us physically all the time, but he was responsible for us, for that I thank him.

Happy Father's Day!

By victorchew46, 21-Jun-2009

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Fighting the tide of greed, materialism and corruption is an uphill task for all fathers even as they try hard to build security for their families. If only we realise and remember that none of what we acquire can be taken away when we die, all the efforts to acquire wealth by immoral means would come to nought.

Instead we should teach every generation to apply their best skills instead of depend on inheritance. Giving our children opportunities through equipping them with good education is far better than creating unholy wealth and not teaching our children the value of fair competition.

To every fathers of this blog,

Happy Father's Day to you.

By petyew, 21-Jun-2009

Anonymous said...

Although I appreciate Dr. Chris comments on this issue, I feel some facts were missed out unintentionally.

Firstly, as a Senior Government Officer he was entitled to a housing loan from the government at a low rate of 4% per annum. The 100% loan runs into hundreds of thousands of ringgit depending on his job grade. After his retirement, he had been paid hundreds of thousands of ringgit as gratuity payment and also a large sum of money for the 'golden handshake' i.e. in lieu of the number of annual leave he did not take while in service [currently calculated at 120 days]

Therefore the issue that he was not corrupted and therefore could not afford to purchase a house does not hold water.

As far as I could remember there were 2 cases of such government officers. One was a very senior Police Officer [chinese] and the other a senior Anti-Corruption Officer [malay]. Both landed in the Old Folks Home and it was such a sad story.

The police officer's wife died earlier than him and it was his sons and daughters that placed him in the Old Folks Home in Ipoh Perak. This should be the man described by Dr. Chris because he was 80+ when he died in the Old Folks Home.

The ACA officer story is different. He was chased out by his wife and had to stay in the Old Folks Home and died there. He was in his early 60s then.

To me, its all luck and fate if life turned out bad for us. We simply have to accept fate and destiny. So for those who still have your father and those who still have your kids, don't expect too much from any of them. If everything turned out okay, its a bonus. If not, accept it as a destiny.

Eat well, stay fit, die anyway!


By redtiger, 21-Jun-2009

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