“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” – Anne Frank #MondayMorningWakeUpCall
Would you –
- Marry someone you didn’t want to because your parents pressured you to?
- Or worse, not marry someone you loved because your parents pressured you to?
- Take up a job you hated or worse, didn’t take up a job you thought was your calling because your parents pressured you to?
- Accept dowry because your parents pressured you to?
- Stop hanging out with your best friend forever because your parents pressured you to?
- Consented to your younger sister’s child marriage or female infanticide or ‘sati’ because your parents pressured you to?
- Shied away from divorce and stayed in a dead marriage because your parents pressured you to?
- Wound someone physically or in any other way because your parents pressured you to?
- Choose the clothes you wore, the food you ate, the movies you watched, lived by your parent’s rules even if they were contrary to what you wished because your parents pressured you to?
- Didn’t do what you know is best for you because your parents thought otherwise?
The list of questions can be endless. Some of the answers are I hope an easy ‘no’ cos they are punishable by law (they weren’t once upon a time). Some of the answers I gather are not so easily negative for many.
I understand that the bond between you and your parents is precious and pure. That they have toiled the better part of their lives for your well-being. That they care about you more than they care about themselves and hence look out for what’s best for you.
But what if they don’t know what’s best for you? What if there is a drop in the ocean chance that they are acting out of selfish interest or out of plain ignorance? If it is a crime to witness a crime and turn a blind eye, then isn’t it also a crime to abet actions that may not lead to what is best for you or worse, acquiesce to actions that may harm you?
I recently chanced upon life’s unspoken agreement between parents and children. It hasn’t been made available to the public. Apparently you’ve got to discover it yourself, without any maps or apps! While the real understanding happens in discovering it yourself, till such time that happens, I’m sharing excerpts from a parental clause that releases you from the loving shackles of what at times can become parental claws.
Clause number 21.0 says and I quote “If you were to rebel, with a cause, and it must be with a cause, against the wishes or demands of your parents, and the cause be a cause that you think would be in your best interest, and that you have checked your official birth certificate and have found yourself to have crossed the legal drinking age in your country (or what the heck, any country’s minimal legal age is applicable here) then you can guilt free pursue your cause as you deem best for you. Santa will even send you an extra present for your bravery.”
To add my two bits, I’ve usually found parents, over time, to see their child’s perspective. And with age, they also tend to forget (and even forgive). I do agree time sometimes moves a bit slower than you would wish it to, but Santa’s ‘be naughty’ Clause assures you, combating the parental pressure, will reward you with glorious treasure (or at least extra presents from Santa).
However, if you want to hide behind the veil of ‘parental pressure’ and not take ownership of your actions and decisions, then either you are not being fair to your parents or you would do well to educate your parents on English poet John Dryden’s aphorism “The sooner you treat your son as a man, the sooner he will be one.” (and daughter will be a woman)