Friday, February 02, 2007

Family Pride

I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you said, Why, and I said, Because I'm old, and you said, I don't think you're old. And you put your hand in my hand and you said, You aren't very old, as if that settled it. I told you you might have a very different life from mine, and from the life you've had with me, and that would be a wonderful thing, there are many ways to live a good life. And you said, Mama already told me that. And then you said, Don't laugh! because you thought I was laughing at you. You reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother's. It's a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I'm always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I've suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.
- Gilead by
Marilynne Robinson

Pride is a horrible thing, especially when one feels it towards one's family. Breaking barriers is difficult; how often do you hear children tell their parents they love them after the age of 13? Why is it so difficult? Don't we all, as children, yearn for a show of affection from and towards our parents?

Imagine a hypothetical situation: The child is used to viewing parents as the people who the child needs to get permission from for certain things, not as the people who care for the child. The child grows up, and the parents decide to change. What's the point now? The child is a young adult; adults can take care of themselves. When a person grows up, after a childhood of neutrality, the person finds it difficult to cope. The poisonous adjective, pride, comes in the way.

Dealing with pride is difficult. Not dealing with it is disasturous. We tend to form high opinions about ourselves... Why feel higher than the people who clothed, bathed, fed and raised you? We're fragile, and without them, God knows what would've happened to us. Showing gratitude towards parents is difficult for many, but with the strength of willpower, anything is possible.

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