On this Father’s Day I would like to share the pain of a father who is going through some difficult times because of the 'wounds' inflicted by his only daughter who had gone against the very principles in life he stood for and hoped his children will follow suit.
He is a very old friend whom I met after a very long time. He is in his sixties and he used to be very cheerful person all his life. I was shocked to see him very depressed and upset now, very different from the person I used to know.
He related his story that has left him depressed and desperate. He has a wonderful and close knit family and everything went on well till a few years ago when his only daughter, whom he loved so much, openly disobeyed him and got married to a man already married with a wife and grown up children.
Overnight a nice and obedient daughter had turned out to a disobedient and rebellious one. He loved the daughter so much and had great hopes that she will become somebody like him one day. But now his hopes are dashed so is his reputation among friends and relatives. His life seemed to have come to a standstill and he has the lost of purpose in life as the most unexpected thing has happened to him. His depression has driven him to lead a withdrawn and reclusive life, avoiding even his close friends and relatives.
This friend of mine is not alone with such a problem. Looking around I realize there are many such 'wounded' fathers in our midst,being troubled by similar problems with their children and are going through hell coping with them. Delinquency, drug addiction, immoral activities and crime are some of these problems. Children who used to be so obedient and concerned overnight turn out to be the nightmares in their lives. Why do they do that and how can we make them realize the wrong they are doing?
Life is no more as simple as it used to be when the father’s word was the absolute truth that cannot be challenged by the children. This had its pros and cons but by and large it contributed to the peace and unity in the family as most fathers had the welfare of the family at heart in whatever they do. It was responsible to keep the family unit intact therefore reducing the incidence of family break up due to differences of opinion.
Society today is very much more complex with the tremendous advancements in technology. Today the world is primarily driven by this sophisticated technology, where the role of the elders, especially the elderly father, is becoming increasingly more irrelevant as they are not able to cope with these advancements like the young.
We may be highly developed in technology but we must not fail to realize the value of experience that can only be obtained after years of handling the many challenges in life that confronts us. We must not forget that wisdom, forbearance and tact that can only be acquired through years of experience are also equally important in managing the many pressing issues today. Our fathers may not be that technology savvy but their experiences in life are invaluable and we must not be arrogant to ignore them as that would only lead to our downfall.
Absolute obedience should never be encouraged as that may lead to tyranny. Obedience is something not always possible and as children we all disobey our parents at one time or another but it is only fair that we consider their feelings and reasons for their objections whenever we decide to go against their wishes. We should take pains to explain our stand especially when we think they are wrong. As children our obedience to our father should be out of respect for his wide experience that we lack and for all the sacrifices that he had made for our well being. What we are today is very much due his dedicated love and sacrifices that no amount of money, technology or education can buy.
Our father may be outdated in this world of technology but he still relevant as we need his blessings. We can make him happy by consulting him on the major decisions in our lives. We can make him happy by trying not to do what he hates. We can make him happy by correcting our wrongs in life. In short we can make him happy by trying be the same old kids we were to our dads when we were young.
We should not underestimate the value of his blessings in our own lives. History as shown and all religions teach us that people who go ahead to do things that hurt his parents will never find lasting happiness and peace in his own life.
On this Father’s day let us try to heal the wounds of our father caused by our disobedience by mending our wrongful ways. Obedience to our fathers should be seen as a sign of weakness but a sign of respect and faith in them.