“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
This is the quote that comforts me whenever I fight with my mum. One of the motivation that propelled me to start this website was to systematically note down my life experiences as I age. I want my children to be able to read them if they want to.
Due to the conflicts that I had with my parents in my formative years, I foresaw that I would have the same issues with my kids in the future. I wanted to make sure that I would be able to see the perspective’s of my kids as youth becomes a figment of memory in my head.
I love my mum very much. She is the most amazing mum in my heart. However, there are times when her behaviours hurt the people around her. Whenever she exhibits those behaviours, it makes me really upset for at least an afternoon.
If Robin Sharma were right in his advice that we should cut away people who are energy vampires in our lives, including our family members, my mum would be one of them in my life. However, as a Chinese who has been brought up to honour our parents, this is the last thing that I would ever be able to do in my life.
Thankfully, I found solace in reading the Analects (弟子规) compiled by Confucius’s disciple after fighting with my mum last December. Even though I was just back home for 2 months, my mum and I bickered at times as we exchanged acerbic comments which we did not mean at heart.
What I found particularly useful in the Analects (弟子规) was the advice in the 5th and 6th verses.
The 5th and 6th verses of the Analects (弟子规) state that we have to be filial to our parents even when they are tough with us. When our parents make mistakes, we have to earnestly explain to them gently. Even if they refuse to listen, we have to be patient and continue to find opportunities to convey to them. The Analects (弟子规) advise to communicate our points when our parents are in a jovial mood. Even if our parents are angry at us and hit us, we must continue to persuade them to change.
Magically, I felt better after I listened and read the Analects several times. Once again, I found the panacea to my problem through books.