In a discussion regarding the Ethiopian American Parenting style, I discussed how they are just so hands on, always trying to manipulate and control the path their children take. Some of this is based on culture, some of this is just self indulgence, and some of this is the child’s failure to take responsibility. None the less, the result was this essay from a contributor. Enjoy
NO, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well,”
The Hen that lays dozens of eggs has no control over where the eggs may end up; either become a hatchling like itself, or on someone’s breakfast table-scrambled; at the dinner table-oven-roasted or fried at one of the myriads of fast food joints. No, it is not the fault of the Hen!
Mankind is made to look away from itself by nature when created by the maker but it is mankind that invented the mirror to look at itself , and that is by choice. Perhaps the first man who found a way to look at himself, Narcissus,(In Greek.Mythology) where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image…unable to believe the beauty of his reflection, …May be a prelude to the creation of the mirror! No, it’s not the fault of Narcissus that the mirror was discovered.
The self-image becomes an obsession to modern man; when a child is born someone has to claim the looks. Nowadays it is customary to buy favors with the parent by commenting ‘Oh, the child looks exactly like you’…. Most things we do in life is a matter of personal choice, we call it freedom, independence and WILL: and is supposed to express us as individuals. We’ll be furious to give this up to anyone including that person who we look like.
On the other hand personal freedom makes us personally responsible for what we do. We cannot have freedom without responsibility. The day the umbilical cord broke off our mother’s womb we take the first step toward responsibility and slowly it becomes a total responsibility; therefore, freedom. After that, what we do becomes a choice which improves with knowledge; and it doesn’t mean we always make the best choice but we’re expected to do so, otherwise it will affect us negatively, unforgivingly. Knowledge doesn’t always come from books; but also from observation, life experience and even bad things we do are source of learning; then we choose which one is better for ourselves.
It is rather perplexing how parents make it their lifetime duty to shape and trim the lives of their offspring. It is a no win situation; if they do good, it is they who did it; if they do bad, it is they who did it; and this happens in spite of a parent’s interference or indulgence. One cannot sacrifice his own life while trying to take control of another’s. Life is like a burning candle; it gives out light until it will give no more. What a mockery we indulge in things that we cannot impact! “it was St. Francis” who said,”…. grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can,and wisdom to know the difference.”