FAMILY MATTERS| Victim or victor

LET me begin with one of Aesop’s Fables.

” One day, the Sun and the North wind were arguing who between them is the mightiest. As they continued their discussion, a traveller came passing by. The North Wind, said,

‘ Look at that man! Let us see who among us can make him remove his coat the quickest. “

The Sun just laughed and allowed the North Wind to do it first. So NW, short for North Wind began blowing its wind all his might. The man held on to his coat with all his strength. NW made his blowing harder, but the man all the more clung to his coat with all determination. NW gave up, and allowed the Sun to try his luck. The Sun just smiled, as he requested NW to blow his clouds aside so he can demonstrate what he will do. He made the weather just fine and gave a little warmth to the traveller. Since the man thought how tired he was because of NW’s coercion, he decided to rest on a nearby tree. He thought how good the weather is and closed his eyes for a respite. The sun made its heat a little warmer, and the man took off his hat and his heart was glad for such a fine weather. The sun then increased its warmth a little bit more, so the man thought he needed not hang on to his coat anymore and loosened to discard it totally because of the finest day ever!’

A boy wanted to discipline his dog so much that he demanded the dog to heed him always. Naturally, the poor dog despite its desire to please its little master couldn’t comply because of language barrier. He was frustrated and ended up making tantrums while the dog kept wondering what went wrong? The same way that parents sometimes end up as seemingly losers when battle of the will becomes the issue. At times, the more a parent puts down his or her foot to demand obedience, a child turns out not to comply. One side says, ‘ follow me’, while the other says, ‘love me first’. Both then begin building walls between them sulking at their own corners. Their frustrations manifest into different forms later like anger, demanding, threatening and ignoring. The sad part is when both operate by ignoring and chillingly become passive toward one another.

We know this is not only true between parents and children but it too happens between couples who initially have the best intentions for each one. But later, they turn out frustrated beginning from unsettled small things that were built up in time. Then, it is either they make up or break up. Surely, breaking up is not the solution to all these. After all, a relationship is like two papers glued together. When they have dried up and someone tries to separate the two papers, a part from each adheres to the other and the pulling away is painful. Like Mr. Sun in our story, he won because he knew that gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster like that of Mr. NW fail. Yet, more than a fable, we learn more from Jesus who said ,

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30

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