If ever there was a list of things most taken for granted by mankind as a species, our parents would be number one.
Parents. Those awesome creatures that took it upon themselves to bring us into this world. Going back in the years to when we first opened our eyes to this stark world filled with terror and ambiguity around every corner, it was to our parents that we turned to for guidance. A child can ask upward of 400 questions a day. Given 365 days to a year, that is an awful lot of questions requiring quite an extraordinary human being to answer them. Those extraordinary human beings are our parents.
At childhood we learn from them, during adolescence we shun them and try to learn for ourselves, at early adulthood we snap at them when they ask us to explain such trivial things as how to access Facebook, social media, email and the like, technologies far beyond what they had imagined at our age at the time.
Yet when we asked 400 questions a day, did they snap? Occasionally maybe. We snap at them because it is impossible for us to accept that there is something our parents do not know. Throughout our lives they serve as our guiding light, whether up close or from afar, to whom we turn to at our hours of need. How can there be anything they do not understand? How can there be anything that can hurt these superhuman beings that raised us? Yet, as we grow up we understand that life is not as rosy as they had explained. The car they drove us to school in that used to bring us great joy can also be an object of great sorrow. The illnesses that befell us and caused us to miss playtime have far more serious counterparts that can do much worse.
There is an analogy that compares parents to trees, at first they give us shade, protecting us from the outside world. Later they give us nutrients, to a point where they deprive themselves of such. In the end, we become strong trees, whilst they weaken with the passing of time.
Mankind live in such a state of blissful ignorance that one day we may turn around and not find those that sacrificed so much for our well-being. We live each day like it is a string of days, no one gives a second thought to the possibility, no matter how infinitesimal it may seem, that we might not wake up tomorrow, or that we wake up to find that someone has passed away. God forbid it is a loved one. God forbid a parent.
Disagreements are bound to happen, it is natural for them to occur and unnatural for them not to. However, never let momentary displeasure lengthen into something that festers and lingers for prolonged periods of time. To create life is such an arduous task, to maintain it even more strenuous.
Once we find ourselves in their shoes, or on the path that would lead us to their position, we finally begin to understand how magnanimously magnificent they truly are. At times, it would be as though finally watching the commentary to your favorite movie. A complete role reversal, transitioning from the child that bruised their knee whilst attempting to ride their bicycle down a flight of stairs, to the worried parent that cares for the child and rushes them to the emergency room. Much like a child will not listen when told that the stove is hot and should not be touched, one cannot fully appreciate their parents until they are thrust in their position.
During these times filled with ambiguity and possibility, as well as a very real sense of foreboding that would almost be crippling if it were to manifest itself, it is important to recall how we all sat down in December of 2013 and put forward our resolutions for the year; to be more successful, to lose weight, to travel more, explore more etc. However the top priority for all should be to simply love thy parents.