I had a brief talk with a father of a three-year-old child earlier today and he told me about how being a parent changed him into someone he never thought he could be. He talked about the sacrifices a parent makes for their children, turning their whole life upside down and inside out and what not.
I said that it was all worth it as our children are our best assets, our best investment. To which, he replied, “But not anymore, you know? This new generation will not take care of their parents like we would.”
True, I must say, the kids today may not want to take care of their parents in the future. And they may not even be bothered at all about the welfare of their aging parents. But I still maintain my stand on children being our best investment.
I really don’t think it’s fair to expect our kids to ever take care of us when we’re old and grey. If they do, we’re blessed with wonderful children and it’s really a bonus. It’s all in the upbringing. But let’s try not to expect anything in return for the sacrifices we’re making for them.
Our reward for bringing them up should be a better society in the future. That’s the fruit that I’m looking at as a parent. My role as a parent – apart from providing a shelter, food and clothing – is to educate and nurture them in the right path (or as a Christian parent – the path of truth and faith in Christ). Investing all our time and energy in our children, by building their character and passing on life’s precious values of love, kindness, generosity and obedience, is for the betterment of our society. Our personal gain? That should be the last thing on our mind.
Being a parent is a full-time, life-time job. It’s never done until you hit the grave. It’s a lot of work but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it when you witness your children living a life that contributes to the well-being of the people around them. So no, you’re not on the losing end at all. In fact, you’re the one holding the long line of heroes.