I was surprised when I talked recently with the Canadian missionarywho stayed in our home. He said that his children did not even provide for his needs. They do not send him money. They expected him and his wife to take care of themselves! One of his son said that his parents could be a liability to him in their old age!
Last evening, while having an evening of drinks with my good friends, we talked about how wise our parents were. Even though they have money, they willingly accept the money we give them. They wish to propagate the importance of repaying kindness and sacrifices. Religious organisations teach about giving to God. It is time that they teach about giving to parents.
If the new generation of young people are not taught how to respect their parents with gifts and cash, then there will be lots of sadness. They would only care for themselves and forget about their elders. Such lack of affection and love will degenerate into a careless and heartless society.
I was very touched when my youngest brother’s children, aged 12, nine and five, gave their parents ang pows during the Lunar New Year Celebration. In fact, this is the forst time i learnt of such young kids giving their savings to their parents. I asked one of them why he did so. He said that he just wished to thank his parents. He will be a great father himself.
I later learnt from my youngest brother that he and his wife taught them that they need to save money so that, one day, they would know how to give back. They were wonderfully surprised that their young kids quickly learnt the lesson and waited for the Lunar New Year to put part of their savings into ang pows fo both parents.
Giving is an art. When i was only 16 years old, i had to work. I have no regrets whatsoever of surrendering half of my salary to my mother so that she could use it for the family and my brothers’ studies. I survived on cheap lunches. I never complained. I was not envious of rich people. With my little salary, i still managed to take up evening courses. I was also very active in social and Christian works. I did not feel deprived.There is joy in my giving.
Giving is an art that softens
Lengthening life, releasing blessings.
11.07am/ Friday/28.4.00/ Home: Bilal Lane, Singapore
By JIMMY TEO