As I write this, my dad, myself and my brother are in the second family living room, the only men in the senior Akinyemi family. What I find most amusing is that all three of us are completely oblivious of what the other is doing… except myself. We are all holding laptops in front of us, and extremely focused on what we are doing.
No doubt the world is moving forward, and none of us is staying behind. I love my parents, and I celebrate them. They have refused to be lost in old times, they have email addresses, log into the net by themselves, know how to trade forex and keep themselves abreast of what the world is doing, in their own little way. They won’t be living us with a huge inheritance, but they’ve given us more than we could ask, they’ve given us values, education and time. That’s sufficient to start a continent with.
You don’t need to pray to live long, just honor your parents.(honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth, this is the first commandment with promise) You don’t need to beg, pray or work 24/7 to become wealthy, just give to the poor(he that gives to the poor lends to the lord, and he will surely repay). The universe runs on principles,it’s no respecter of persons. Being the best Doctor in the world does not make gravity favor you if you mistakenly fall off a skyscraper. Principles have no respect for degree, pedigree or antecedents, the principles respect only those who act understanding the effect of their actions and channeling it to work in their favor. This however is not a about principles in general, that’s for another day. Today it’s about your parents, can you remember that childhood story where all the animals were starving and encouraged each other to kill their parents so they could eat them, while the dog hid it’s own parents? Can you remember how that when they ran into problems, it was the dog’s mother that provided the solution from hiding? What have you done with your parents? “Alu janjan ki jan :)!”
Many people wait till their parents die to regret that they should have done more? Why should this be your case? There are many ways to honor your parents, their are many ways to give back to them, and make their remaining days pleasurable ones. Not only will it help them live better lives, it will also help you live long and have all well with you. It’s not good reward for parenting you for you to send them to an old peoples home.
Here are some simple things you can do to show value for your parents in their lifetime
1. Visit them. Mobile phones have made it ok, to just ring them once in a while. Don’t just ring alone, take your ass to the car park or take your car keys and go visiting. Absence only makes the heart grow fonder, if the absence is ends. Take out time, regular time in your life time, to either go visiting or get them to where you are.
2. Keep them abreast of your progress. Good news from a far country is like cold water to a thirsty soul. I got a job, I got promoted, I got another job, I got a house, I wrote a book, I launched a site e.t.c. Depending on your particular relationship with your parent, you might not tell it immediately it happens, but it’s refreshing keeping your parents abreast of your progress. You are giving them more reasons to be proud of their investment in your life. I understand that some parents could be troublesome, but this article is not about advice on what parents should not do, it’s how you should treat your parents. If we learn to do our side right, others will have no other choice that to fit into their own roles.
3. Make them a regular feature on your budget. As much as God gives you favor, include them in your budget. It’s not a function of how much, it’s a function of consistency and having them in mind. If you do this well, your ability to do more will grow. I’m not doing this as consistently as I ought to myself, but I know it’s the best way to go, and I won’t miss it this coming new year. Even if it’s one recharge card monthly that you can be consistent with, do something consistent for your parents monthly. In that small caption called your parents, your parent in law are included as well. You can send a monthly stipend, pay for monthly subscription for something, pay for an HMO for their health maintenance, send foodstuff, e.t.c.
4. Call them, text them, stay in touch. These are the simple basic things, do them. Don’t assume anything, be in touch. It’s very refreshing hearing from you, even if it’s to just say how are you, Merry Xmas or happy new month. Remember, you are sowing what you will reap, and you will reap, in a good measure, pressed down and shaking together.
5. Respect them. I don’t know how it ties, but one of the vital lessons I have learnt is that if you don’t interact with the past you will never be able to translate it’s benefits to create a meaning future, just as he who does not understand history will forever be a child, if you don’t respect your parents, something common will take away your ability to see too much into the future. Don’t respect them in words alone, respect them indeed. You are an adult now, true, but you will never outgrow respecting your parents. No matter how relevant to current age you think you are and the are not.
Times like these are good times to reunite with our families. Let’s make the most of them, and not just make it a one off. Let’s continue like this in the New Year.