Friday, March 16, 2007

The dilemma of fathers and sons...

Family dynamics can be a tough thing. There's no manual telling you how to handle this problem or that, how to react to this situation or that, you just do what you think is right and hope you don't screw up.

In a perfect world, parents and children would always get along. Parents would never nag their kids and obsess about their well-being and play the guilt card and children would call and visit more often, respect their parents even when they disagree, and never throw their shortcomings or parental mistakes in their face during an argument.

Ahh..if only it were a perfect world.

But alas, it isn't.

I don't know which is a tougher relationship--mothers and daughters or fathers and sons. I think it's fathers and sons. Temperamental, stubborn fathers and temperamental even more stubborn sons can be a handful to deal with in any family. When they don't get along, the mothers, the sisters, the wives, the grandmothers, they all throw their hands up and say "OY VEY!" because really what more can be said?

You cannot force two people to like each other even if they are in the same family, even if they are father and son. You hope in your heart that before one of them dies someday, before the world comes to an abrupt end, they will make amends and forget the past. But alas, some men just can't do it. It's not necessarily because they don't want to either, it's because sometimes admitting one's faults can appear a sign of weakness, at least to them. I don't know any normal person who considers being human a weakness!

Life is too damn short to be hateful, cruel, and disrespectful to the people you care about most. Yes, pride is a great thing but sometimes forgiveness is even greater. Families have all kinds of rifts, some can be mended, some cannot. But perhaps the world would be a better place if children and parents respected each other and forgave each other's mistakes. Sons who throw their father's past mistakes and weaknesses as a parent back in their face should be ashamed.....that is not the type of respect God intended from child to parent. And equally wrong is the father who instead of forgiving his son for his past mistakes and poor choices (forgetting that he himself made them often in his youth) continues to hold his son's past actions against him.

Forgiveness generally isn't about the other person being forgiven, it's really for the person doing the forgiving. But ultimately it can benefit both parties in wonderful ways. I think if more people tried to forgive, and really meant it, I think the world would be a better place.

There are a lot of fathers and sons in this world who don't get along, don't respect each other, and don't talk. And it's a shame, a real shame, because usually they don't "get it" until one of them is dead.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous3/20/2007

    very insightful--ST

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  2. I think the reason mothers and daughters usually get along better than fathers and sons is because most women, no matter how old they are, have more heart. They are more sensitive to feelings than most men are. And it's easier for them to open up to one another. I speaketh from where I know.

    With men, it's like, the father can't see the son's side of a problem, and the son, being merely a younger version of his father, is the same way. In an argument or disagreement, which is really an obstacle in their road of life, one of them has got to give a little more than the other, or that obstacle will remain there for the rest of their lives and affect everyone around them.

    This type of a stand-off needs to be settled once and for all, with all partied involved, ready to forgive and forget, before sickness or old age takes one of them and then it's too late, and will leave an emotional scar on the other close family members forever.

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  3. Yep I'm afraid you're right on that one. The power of forgiveness is a great thing too but some people don't realize that...

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