As children and in our rebellious teenage years, we sort-of vow to our selves that we will never turn out to be like our parents in one-way or another. I greatly respect my parents but when I was younger, I made a vow not to sound like them.
Last night I had ended up giving my younger siblings a “lecture” about how they should keep up with current events. I didn’t know it then, but as I look back on other situations with my siblings I realize that have started sounding like my parents more and more. It is a scary thought but at the same time it reassures me that I am doing the right thing. In my family, culture and religion, parents are respected. Maybe it has to do something with Eastern culture vs. Western culture.
In my religion the honor, respect and esteem attached to parenthood is unparalleled. The Holy Quran places the importance of kindness to parents as second only to worshipping God Almighty:
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them your mercy as they cherished me in childhood'” (Quran 17:23-24).
The emphasis of respecting parents is also in the Old Testament in several places. It commands kind and considerate treatment towardparents and condemns those who dishonor them.
“If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death” (Lev. 20:9).
When it comes to my siblings, I can be very maternal. As the eldest, I feel it is essential for me to help guide my siblings. When my parents used to tell me do’s and don’ts, I didn’t like hearing it very much. Now I realize the value of parental advice. I am not a parent but care for my siblings like a parent. I want them to get ahead in school, to be healthy, to have the best of everything, to enjoy life and much more. As a sister I want so much for my siblings, imagine how much my parents want for them.
Parents help guide us, nourish us, clean up after us and sacrifice much of their youth for us. But what to we give them in return? I realize that not all parents are like mine and not all sisters are like me, but for the most part parents care.
My parents and I have had and continue to have our differences but that doesn’t mean that I disrespect them.
We can agree to disagree.