ON YOUR OWN: A Note for My Child
My dearest child,
My apologies for calling you a child. Of course, you no longer look like one now and definitely you seem to be more accomplished than I was at your age. Time flies so fast that before I could wash your diaper, you are already running around and have decided on a career.
I say, I would always be there with and for you. When you were a baby, you were the center of my universe. You gave me strength and direction to struggle, to aim for gold so to speak, to be on top of the league. That is right my child, you may not know it but everything that we have today, every accolade that we receive, came directly from you because we were inspired by your presence. That was the meaning of your being there. We were strong for you. We believed in the Almighty because of you. We even ignored pain, paid no heed for humiliation, disregarded sickness, overlooked danger and threats, dispensed with personal comfort just to see you smile. Your laughter even made us immortal for a great while.
We are here in this situation, enjoying the fruits of labor, basking in privileges and preparing to fade with thoughts that we have prepared everything for your turn. We merely carried the tradition of our ancestors believing that what served them correctly before would serve us and the succeeding generation properly and that is through the academe. Education gave us significant advantages. And through education, we would be able to carry through everything that we wished for.
Years have gone by, significant episodes and thrilling chapters we call bits and pieces, spices and flavors in our biographical sketches, looking at the mirror, the aura of youth has faded completely from my person and it has been continuously projected this time on your persona. You are now a complete person, on your own, able to be independent and almost a cosmos by yourself. If at all there is something to determine which part we have learned to appear the same, it is no longer the surname or the slant in our eyes, the poise and the manner we walk, but on the way we view and express ourselves to the world.
You are now heavier by several pounds as against my fledgling physique. You are now stronger than me by several stretches. You are more literate with technology advancing almost monthly and you are always in sync with its constant evolution. You have more time to correct every blunder committed in this trial and error world. Time to recollect where I should be and, like a withered leaf, review where the winds will take me.
We are no longer supposed to be the fountain of resources you often reckon. You are now in the better position to explore and confront the elements. We are no longer the superheroes that you usually cling into in cases when your imagination of alien invasion is about to clobber your senses. You are now one of the superheroes as a matter of fact. Our strength has been zapped by years of struggle just to impress you. Now, your strength should have shown us that you are better and more impressive.
No, I never expect anything from you. I have made something of the past already with you as my driving force. It is your turn now to make something out of the present for your own future. I could only heave a big sigh of contentment as you try to formulate your strategies. There will be pressures and stress, tensions and strains. It is never occasional; as a matter of fact, it is even the order of the day for everyone. It would surely make you flexible and compliant. It would also make you matured and more understanding. I had my moments—heroic and villainous ones— before, now it’s your show.
You must now accept the fact that you are in charge of your own world. That your parents were once upon a time your compass and that they are now only a part of the landscape you once trod. We no longer exist to shield you from challenges but we are there in your memories to enhance your wisdom. We will be there in all your undertakings especially when you implore insight and judgment. That is how far we could go. You must be in that place where you are suited and from there proceed to a greater distance.
I am not telling you to abandon prudence, throw caution in the wind, and rebuke difficulties with recklessness just because we are no longer at your reach. You are a sphere all your own, autonomous and liberated. You are free to create anything according to your understanding. We have made ours with you as foundation. You must now build your own turf based on your personal discernment. We could only observe.
While we try to accomplish to save for our future tussle with senility, you must now offer your vigor and potency on your pre conceived ideas for greater things to come. Don’t look back at us, look forward as we also try to determine what is there lying in the horizon for you. We may not be able to see completely what is there for you but your youthfulness will definitely be an advantage. We were young once and we could only make so much. Try to do much. We have a formula for that during our time and I hope it could serve you well too. We just don’t know if it is relevant. We know you may use it also just for a while if not all the time. The formula is a vintage one: Work Hard, or Work Harder. It is corny but it served as well. You may also reckon its usefulness.
Remember that it is not luck that makes us better persons. It is how we secure ideas and how we make it work for us that matter. In our case, we worked hard. We just don’t know how it will be in your situation. If at all it means that you will have to struggle more, be on the safe side by working hard on your craft. That way you will be more gentle and wise; or, be rough and brutal—whatever. It’s your choice now, it’s your way, and it’s your style.
Remember always: Don’t challenge the gods of skills, but be as skillful as any of them. You are now on your own—-but I will always be there somewhere in your mind, sometimes in your dream and most of all a perennial footnote in your history.
And Oh, by the way. Another cliché you may count on: “Bloom where you are planted.”
Your loving father,