Now, where was I. Oh right, parenting.
Just a quick thought on the hypothetical I had raised in Miguel’s post. I can honestly truly imagine had I been that perp, my sisters would be heartbroken I was gone, but would honestly think I was one befitting a Darwin Award for doing so. I think, in my mind, is that today’s generation, well most of it, aren’t exactly growing up properly. Yes I’m in this generation, but I think my parents beat the acronym ‘TANSTAAFL’ into me and my sibling’s brains in their own, Filipino way. You see, we were raised rather liberally. We had three rules that were rather broad in reach and interpretation and were given supplementary rules as we aged and the times change, but they’re still in effect.
Rule 1: Respect your mom, your grandparents, and be polite and humble.
My dad often says he doesn’t care if we don’t respect him, but not giving any sort of love to your mom is the greatest sin of all in his eyes. I can see that. For every time he tried to discipline us, my mom bent over backwards to baby us. She loves us all unconditionally and while she is a bit wordy, she still cares about our well-being. My dad says to be patient with her, she handles all the stress. While there are probably personal things to why I won’t give her a hug or kiss her, I’ truly grateful to her and have come to see, now that I’m on my own, mama still loves me. The same applies to my grandparents. They’re always there to baby us and are genuinely proud of everything we do. I got a new car? Send em some money! I got into a new job? HOLY CRAP CAN WE VISIT? That sort of thing.
But the third aspect of the rule is I guess, the hardest for me to learn yet was so damn easy. Be polite, and be humble. Politeness is a virtue that often goes unrewarded. Everyone is, in the language of the time, stroking their epeen. Especially online. Bitching, railing, name-calling, etc. They’re not afraid to say it because they’re hidden by the anonymity of the web, or if in real life, surrounded by their friends and protected by an enabling society. That’s where humility comes in. It is not, and never is, a sign of weakness. Rather, I believe it to be a sign of strength. When someone is carousing with his friends, laughing at your feeble attempts, why does it bother you? Why should it bother you?
When they realize that all they can do is call you a coward, then much like the Kenny Rogers song, keep at it. It’s better to be humble and with a tarnished reputation in my eyes, than it is to be the high flyer that dies in the most spectacular crash. Fear the nice ones indeed.
Rule 2: Fear and Love the Lord, have Faith, and pray.
Very simple. Or not to ‘atheists’. You see, I once thought atheists were smart, and forgive me if I’m going on a very long tangent, but it’ll come back to it. But atheists nowadays are a bunch of smarmy pricks (exceptions do exist) who rag on most Abrahamic religion due to the whole post-modernist thinking or something like it. God does not exist they say, or they seriously believe in the flying spaghetti monster. They hold their own purported higher intellect and point at the scandals, the ‘stupidity’ of religion yet they miss the point why there are religious people.
Because we have faith. Faith in a higher power. Faith in ourselves. Faith is an unscientific thing. It cannot be measured except by the person holding it. And some of us subscribe to an Abrahamic religion. Faith that there is a God, who gave his only Son to us to rid us of sin, who will come again in the end times to judge the living and the dead, and create a kingdom that will have no end.
See what I did there? An idiot would say I’m spewing some rote memorization of the Apostle’s Creed. Indeed I am, yet it’s a weekly reaffirmation of WHAT I BELIEVE IN. And thus leads us to why we have this rule. My family believes in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe in the basic and more complex tenets of the Roman Catholic religion. While my dad and I can start talking about the Church’s worldly affairs and disagree and debate about em, when it comes to spiritual matters it is the Church’s word. Yes the church is hypocritical. Yes it has conflicting stuff. But then these are by people who let their logic overtake their faith. Or better yet, can’t see the forest for the trees.
It’s why we have faith, and pray. We’re more concerned about living a life that would please the lord so that when my soul is judged when he returns, my virtues have outweighed the vices. I would rather do that than be a douche who sits on his Tower of Babel.
Rule 3: Be the best you can be.
You see, there was a time where Tiger Parents weren’t exclusively Asian, or from the former Soviet bloc, or from third world countries. Kids were often told to ‘man the fuck up’ or ‘earn it yourself’. Nowadays everything is fast and easy. All these kids want to be the next rock and roll star because of the glammy life, yet fail to see that the rock and roll star worked hard for his sex, drugs, and booze. Even if he’s a piece of shit with no talent, he still has to bloody sing to give the sound engineer something to work with. As much as I hate Justin Bieber and One Direction, they work for their fame. Sure they’re propped up, but how much can you prop up a guy who isn’t willing to go along with the puppetting?
My parents were rather lenient, but always wanted us to succeed. The biggest joy I think, I saw in my parent’s eyes was when I strolled across that stage, decked in a green gown and handed a symbolic piece of paper representing my Bachelor’s degree. I’m still not allowed to take my High School diploma with me, or my Degree, as it is hung on a very prominent part of the house. I worked hard for my degree. It may not seem like it at times but I did. I kept at it, graduated in 4 years in trying to keep a good GPA. And I guess that applies to other things as well. My parents utilized the carrot, and the stick, but it was always because they wanted to motivate me and my siblings to go better. To push the envelope of our mental and physical selves.
Even if we failed, they still hint to us that they want us to give it one more last, last hurrah. (“Hey Jay you think you can get into the National Guard by age 30?”) They’re not afraid to spank me for something I did wrong, they were right to give me praise when I deserved it, and often give me criticism when I needed it. It’s that notion, that thinking of always working hard for what you want, that i think is sorely lacking in today’s generation. Because not only does it promote laziness, but it kills the spark of creativity and independence that were a driving factor of America’s greatness, and why people either legally or illegally (which they shouldn’t do) try to come here to achieve a better life.
To my generation, to sum this rule up? I turn to my favorite acronym.
That’s it really, my thoughts on how I was raised. I am not against needing a leg up, but I am something against this ‘safety net’ turning into a hammock. So rather than be a quick thought, this should’ve been a rant huh?