Sunday, May 01, 2005

Filial Matters

I came to work on a slightly sour note. I was getting ready to leave when my mother told me about my grandmother's request. Money again. I love my grandmother and I'm grateful for all that she's done for us before. She worked hard and gave much to her children and their family. But, there's the rub, she did everything that she inadvertently made almost all of them entirely too dependent on her.

Now, I'm no expert when it comes to effective parenting. I don't believe anyone is, really. One can only guide and do so much for one's child but with the environment, other people, and lesson and values they will develop by themselves in life, there's no foolproof plan for a child to turn out well.

That is, of course, not an excuse for an adult as for all of my Lola's children are. I feel that, at their age and their mother's age, they should take it upon themselves to turn their situations around. There are no hopeless cases in life. They are, after all, able to work. They have been given all the opportunities, education and support, from their mother, my Lola, when she's still able to do so and its their turn to give that back.

My Lola's youngest child fared better in school and work. He's not married and he helps, but is cursed with that dreadful disease called Arrogance. He makes it a point to let everybody know, by telling gossipy neighbors and by shouting at and belittling his unemployed brothers, that he's the sole provider of the family when of course, he's not. My Lola, even at her age and condition, is still earning money from her work at our local barangay and as you can expect, still provides for much. I, the only one employed among my Lola's grandchildren, also helps. Not a lot, though, since I have my own family to take care of.

Although I can understand my youngest uncle's frustration, trying to fill the role of my dead grandfather, his impatience with his younger brothers for not producing money, nothing can be had by being bitter and angry over giving. Since he wants to handle all the money coming in for my grandmother, he should be prepared for the responsibilities of budgeting. He's determined to sell the family home with no thought of where his brothers and their families will live. And, that just seems irresponsible too.

With him handling all the money and the family's affair, there's been tension and ill-feeling at the family home. The much older children, who are not able to give in terms of money, can only offer their care and attention to my Lola. Which is still a lot. No unpaid person will do that much to someone and with love.

I don't believe that helping one's family is something that needs to be broadcasted to the neighbors, especially gossipy neighbors. There's no glory in that at all. If one is blessed with a good-paying job and is able to help his loved ones, that in itself is a blessing and an accomplishment. In this world, we are each given a role to fulfill and a responsibility owed to someone. Sometimes, we get tired but there'll be no one to help you and your loved ones if you don't do it yourself. Self-glorification certainly won't help. There won't be any ribbons pinned to you if you've alienated your own family.

1 comment:

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