Sunday, August 16, 2009

Personal recollection and the role of good parents

Here is a little personal story to share with you, since it came to mind tonight after church services.

I grew up in the 1950's and at that time, even though my mother could, of course, drive a car, it was usually my father who did the driving. As soon as I was old enough to be observing of the landscape around us as we were driving, and to understand the mechanics, I started to worry about something. I've always loved animals of all kinds, and as a small girl I noticed that birds often landed on or were standing on the road or the road's shoulder. I worried about them and asked my dad about them, urging him to be careful and to avoid hitting them! He was very kind and reassured me that the birds are fast enough that they always get out of the way. This was exactly the right thing to say to a young child, and I believed it for many years.

It was much later, when I was older, that I noticed the occasional dead bird on the side of the road, LOL. By then of course I realized that some birds were not fast or observant enough to avoid a car! But I was grateful for and benefited from the peace of mind that my father had given to me for many years.

Friends, that is how it should and it must be. The Bible says that parents should not grieve their children. What does grieve mean? It means a sadness and sorrow in the heart.

Today there are so many hypocrites about the truth. Modern society values all kinds of untruths, exaggerations, malicious gossip and lies, yet some people would probably think that my father was "lying" to me that birds are never hit by cars and that kids need to be "prepared for life."

The media is even worse in this. How many stupid videos, films, advertisements and so forth show "humorous" flattened animals, graphic details of realities of nature, etc for a far too young audience? Gosh, if a child asked the question that I did back then during these times, I'd be afraid that some parents would go out and run over a bird so the three year old could see the squashed corpse and be "prepared for real life."

Children-all children-have tender innocent souls given to them by God and that are besmirched and harmed only by humans, or by illnesses that affect the child's stability. It is not proper for parents to "harden" or "prepare for 'reality'" (so called) the innocent souls of children. In other words, it is not a parent's job to give children grief, not the slang term of giving grief (to nag or to hassle, which sometimes is necessary), but to grieve and sadden children with graphic violence and sadness, which needs no introduction or promotion to children, since sadly as they age life tends to bring this stuff to them anyway in due course.

So one of my fondest memories, that gives me a smile, of my much loved (and wise) father is that he gave me so many years of thinking that all birds everywhere got out of the way of cars, and it is only later that I had what then was an appropriate humorous moment when I, being older, first noticed a pile of feathers on the side of the road, and said to myself, "Hey! Now wait a minute..."

LOL. I hope that you have found this diverting and even somewhat thought provoking.