I just read something that bothers me greatly. A post by a friend of mine discussing something they read this morning. According to my friend, the post he read was someone saying that we should abandon our parents and grandparents when they get old or ill. That we owed them nothing. I am paraphrasing here but this was the main point.
Before I go further, I will state this. I do realize that not all parents are good parents. Not all people should take on the roll of parenthood. We see proof of that every day in the news. But there is no real way to predict who will be good or bad parents. No humane way to prevent the bad from procreating. There are simply too many ways that parenting can go wrong, even if it starts out as perfect as possible.
That said. To the person who claimed we owe our parents nothing, what sort of idiot are you? We owe our parents everything. Whether they are birth parents or adoptive parents. The people who brought us into the world and the people who help us navigate this world.
Can we feed ourselves as infants? Can we prepare the bottle, the more advanced meals as we grow from infant to toddler to child and forward? As infants can we change ourselves, dress ourselves, make our own beds? Who taught us to walk and to talk?
Where do we live? Who provided the home, the food, the clothing? Who made sure of the education? Who made sure we got to school, to sporting events, to band practice? To any other activity we chose to participate? Who sat up with us when we were sick? Who made sure we got the proper medical care?
Who taught us life skills that aren’t covered in school?
Who understood when we argued back that it was all part of the process of becoming adults? That we were seeking the individual us we were meant to be. That we were preparing to step outside the life of immediate family and becoming our own adult self.
Who raised us? Taught us? Loved us? Was happy to see us walk out on our own, and yet missed us at the same time?
All that is only a part of the list. Our debt runs long and deep.
My grandparents helped raise us since they lived next door. Both our parents worked. From them we learned as much as we did from our parents. We also learned things from their past that gave us greater incite into their life and ours. Our family, parents, grandparents, extended family…we don’t owe them anything less than everything. To tell people they should abandon family members when they are older or ill, takes a very heartless individual. Yes, there are probably circumstances that I do not know since I don’t know the individual or even read the post. It still irks me just thinking about it, just thinking there are people advocating such actions. As my friend said, if you do not have a good relationship with your family, don’t abandon them, get them the help they need. Find a place or person to take care of them. Because we do owe them.
It sounds like your friend voted for Joe. So terrible.
Actually it was not my friend who made that post. He was just as if not more incensed than I was over it. It was his comments on it that got my little rant started.
Oh, sorry about this. Ooops.
No worries, it happens.
I had a terrible relationship with my mother. She was psychologically abusive and manipulative. Still is. But I’m not about to stop giving her the help she needs at 91 yrs old and still living independently. It took many years to get to the point where she could no longer hurt me. My parents raised us the best they knew how, and I am actually grateful for the many things I learned from them. I would not have had the positives, if I didn’t also have the negatives.
In the end, though, I’m not helping her because I “owe” it to her. I help her because it’s the right thing to do!!
Agreed. I think that I wrote it this way because I was annoyed and angered by the person telling others we don’t owe them and to abandon them..my mother and I have had our moments, but like you, I help because it is the right thing.