Filial Piety

It is interesting that people will never came to respect their parents until they really do realize how important it is to treat them well before it was too late. Many people didn’t know how fortunate they are to have someone nagging at you and putting attention on you. It was harsh sometimes that parents are constantly inputting realistic views upon the world, views that we couldn’t accept. So, we resort to rebel.

Of course it was a cycle, you would then realize you will face the same incident during your future parenthood. Possibly, you will be complaining to your parents and your parents will laugh with mockery (“glad that we have gone through that phase, now it’s your turn…”). It wasn’t easy to become a parent, you need tonnes of patience and wisdom in dealing with your children.

They don’t like too much nagging but at the same time, they want attention. When parents are coping with their children’s problem, they have to handle issue from domestic to work-related matters. How is it possible that they can manage in multi-tasking? I have been amazed with parents who have done a good job in bringing up their children, especially children who appreciate their parents’ contribution towards their personality.

Filial piety is practice that some culture will never understand its vitality particularly the Westerns. I have also understand Westerns tend to be more independent when it comes to family values- when you’re 18, you can just leave the nest and did everything on your own (you make your own choices and decisions). Do they went back and care for their parents or will they just build up their own life? I guess it varies now since the mixed globalized culture practice has transferred tremendously. Western influence may generated on the Eastern values while the Eastern traditional virtues may affect how Western view upon ‘filial piety’.

I get that it is a modernized society that people just being individualistic and even ‘parents’ become none of their concerns. It is disheartening especially to see parents who are illiterate, having health problems and in their years of retirement being abandoned by their children. People know that it is not the right thing to do but they just do it eventually because-yeah right, you have no time in paying back what you get from you parents!” This is illogical and unacceptable.

Some people reckon it is a sin for not respecting your parents, ‘filial piety’ is not something assumed that has to be done, it is not based on what society said it is right but rather it is something biological, natural and based on ‘love and affection’. Maybe people are ‘filial piety’ because it is the right thing to do? Maybe people are ‘filial piety’ because they feel that they should be paying back what their parents have done for them unconditionally?

When parents are soon emerging into the age of retirement, we children are slowly departing towards the gate of work culture. Soon, everything changes and the perspective of time will be different. Children were all thinking that the best way to be ‘filial piety’ is to buy nutritious food, supplements, comfortable chairs, entertainment- but have they thought that parents would want the children to spend some time with them rather than just throwing all the materials beside them as substitutes?

I wouldn’t argue that buying goodies are wrong. If you are financially stable, why not? The extras are talk to them, mingle with them and take care of them when they in need- by means physically and emotionally. They may like the quiet times and private moments but no one rejects their children because the children wants to travel around the world with their parents, wants to go shopping with them and wants to treat the parents in dine-out.

Remember the word ‘unconditionally’- parents are responsible in taking care of you but at the same time, children must remember their obligation, filial piety does not start after you work but rather after you have the capability in contributing anything at home. 

Filial piety is not just an action or a practice but it comes from the heart, a tiny talk or a minor action may represent a big filial piety to parents. Although it is never too late to start now. I know many people would argue that not every parent is as understanding or rational in terms of bonding and relationship, rather they supply love in another way by constantly telling you what is right or wrong, they tell you that you must be having good grades so it would be easier for you to get a job or some other experiences that they have shared with you are part of their ‘giving’. Even though parents may be delivering the wrong message to you, I am sure their advice is always worth listening and then you can take it as an option or guide. There is no guarantee in life that people that were older than us will always be here with us and at the same time we are not positive with people who are younger than us will forever accompanying the elderly. Therefore, both have to appreciate the moments spend and cherish one another because life is just unpredictable. When it’s gone, it’s gone.



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