Growing up as the eldest of three brothers, and learning from mistakes none other than my own, my mother had her hands full. She is unrelenting when it comes to guarding us, unmatched in selflessness, and abound with patience and forgiveness. When faced with the crossroads of life, she guides us when we ask. She shares in the joy of our accomplishments and helps us move on from failure.
My mother never demanded for us to respect her or honour her. We were just brought up to obey and listen, only because we didn’t know much better in our younger years. We were taught that respect is not given but earned. The same could be said with honour, as honour translates to a higher form or respect.
Today, 28 years into life, I have taken all that’s been given to me and use it to pave my future. Her protectiveness, her selflessness, her patience and forgiveness.
The name my parents have given me, has symbolism especially since I am the eldest son – shield-wolf, a protector. But protecting is not a gift you are given, even if it is your namesake. I have seen my mother confront a burly lorry driver for speeding in a housing area and colliding with me on a bicycle, even though she wasn’t there when I got into the accident. I was more afraid for her wellbeing than she was. I have also failed, fallen and bruised enough times to tell you that she will do everything in her ability to get me back running.
Today, I protect my siblings by sharing my failures and things I’ve learned. I protect the ones closest to me by being there when they need me. But still, I seek my mother for advice when it comes to a future because she will always protect that for me.
Always telling us to be considerate, to share among each other and not be selfish. Growing up, this was a repeated lesson when it came to sharing toys, food and things you normally would have to share with a sibling. Only much older did I learn that to get where I am today, a mother, my mother, had to selflessly give so much. Her time tending to our needs instead of her own, her displeasure for our happiness, her career for our future.
Her selflessness, I return in form as a heart for service. I serve in church, I take my mother to places she otherwise would not know of and I do what I can to make her responsibilities lighter. I allocate time to treat her to meals and spend time with her just because she gives up those opportunities for us to have our education and a bright future.
Patience and Forgiveness
In a world and an environment where everything is at your fingertips, patience is the one thing that is lacking. I cannot recall any memory of my mother losing her temper at us or being angry for more than an instance. A patient teacher, guiding us till today at every juncture of life should we get misguided or lost. Academics and life skills when she the opportunity arises, and wisdom from mistakes and accomplishments in her life and those before me. More eager to forgive and correct, than begrudge and reprimand. Even when it came to broken things, our wellbeing above all else.
My siblings and I never go to sleep angry. We reconcile and call a truce, and even if we don’t, we find it in ourselves to forgive and forget the next day. Our patience with each other is nothing exemplary, but when put to work in teams whether at work or in university, we seem to draw patience from thin air.
Honouring your parents is one thing you must choose to do with heart and not out of obligation. It goes beyond just giving them an allowance or answering a phone call. They have spent the years you have lived, investing into your life so that you in turn, may invest in others. Today I choose to honour them by repaying a debt that can never truly be repaid, through giving them time which can never be bought; someday, their teachings and exemplary character will live on through me and passed to my children as a way of honouring their memory. What will you choose?
“Honouring your parents is one thing you must choose to do with heart and not out of obligation”
Randall Tan is a millennial with a penchant for observing human behaviour and is curious about the mechanics and workings of everyday things. He graduated with an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is now pursuing a Masters in Data Sciences and Business Analytics.