reflections for mother’s day and on families
“Freedom and rights! Freedom and rights!” the crowd shouted, some even screamed these words. In a moment of relative quiet, I queried them thus “What about personal responsibility to go with your freedom and rights?” Anger clouded many faces and voices rose up to jeer me. Some hurled rocks and bottles in my direction. For reasons of personal safety, I made a hasty retreat from the agitated mob.
Now, to our essay.
If one looks closely at the above photo, one can see a mother and child.
In the USA, we celebrate Mother’s Day each year on the second Sunday in May.
What can I say that has not already been said about parents and families? Let me write from my own experiences.
What a stark contrast it was for me when I got to know my wife’s family. Her parents and siblings did not pick at each other or try to put each other down. When one member of the family was having some difficulties, the other family members were there to help out and aid the person in difficulty. Not so in the “dysfunctional” family I had been raised in. The needless and petty infighting was terribly destructive in my family. And, my parents were hyper critical of their children and of each other. It is no exaggeration to say that my parents had some serious unresolved emotional problems of their own. In fact, they were both quite neurotic.
Having been in the role of a parent myself, I can understand the pressures of raising a family. It can be a very stressful and thankless job. I get it.
What I do not get is how or why my parents could not respect their adult children decades after the last ones had left their home and entered their adult lives. I actually voiced this frustration to them in recent years, but to no avail. It appears to me, that somehow they think that if they respect and accept their children as (being) adults – as independent, responsible adults – that somehow lessens them, lessens their value as human beings.
That is twisted thinking on their part.
So what can you take away from this essay? Consider these few points.
1. Without respect for the other person, love is not present. There may be an emotional feeling, but it is not love. (In some cases, this feeling is along the lines of an emotional incest where the “beloved” really becomes an object. That is not healthy.)
2. Recognize that your parents are not perfect. They have their character flaws, too. I have yet to meet a person without some character flaws – though I have met many who thought they had no flaws. Honesty and objectivity are often in short supply. (For years now, I have said that honesty begins in one’s own mind. You cannot be honest with others if you are not first honest with yourself.)
3. We so desperately need strong families in these terrible times. The rapacious government – that seeks to rob us of our true rights – pursues policies that serve to undermine the strength of families. It is no accident that every tyrannical regime has attacked the family and tried to turn parents and children against each other. When you weaken families, you weaken society, morale, and the resistance to abusive authority. The state is not a substitute for the family. It can never be.
4. As we remember on Sunday to honor mothers, I would ask that mothers love their children (and that includes respecting their children). Love your children – they were born into such an unloving world. They, in turn, will learn how to love from you, so that one day they can be loving parents themselves.
Let’s change the world by changing ourselves first. We can be a positive example to others.
Seek truth. Question “political correctness”.