In the past when I was still quite young, I always had this thought that family is just a group of blood-related people put together because they have no choice. The fact that we are under the same roof does not mean more than a group of people living together, and the young does not have to pay rent because they are not obliged to do so at such a young age.
As I mature, I begin to understand that family is there because they will be the most crucial people to have around for the rest of your life, for decades and decades. You don’t have to pay rent to live in your own house when you are young because you repay this rent in the form of filial piety and allowance for your parents when they retire in the future. You are essentially fed and clothed but you are in debt, forever. In Asia, this culture is a norm. Filial piety is one of Confucius’ eight core values and it is so important to the extent that parents would disown or even sue their own children if they refuse to provide for their parents when they have the ability to.
As an Asian, I do believe strongly in providing for my parents in the future as they have provided for me in the first two decades of my life. Compulsory education has come a long way since the start, but it has not been that long. This means that my parents have not had compulsory education and like most adults in Singapore who are above the age of 45, left school early due to either family or financial matters. These adults, including my parents, may not have had a ton of knowledge, but life experience does tell them that no matter how hard they have to sloth their way through, they will have to support their family and their children. For that, I admire their strength.
Family is really extremely important. No matter how big of a mistake you make or how badly you screw up, they are the ones who will forgive you in the shortest amount of time and even if they don’t, they will support you in your future decision to resolve the problem. Contrary to your belief as a rebellious teenager, they will NOT harm you in any way, ever. They may lie or try to cheat your feelings once or twice or several times, but ultimately, it will be for your own, or the family’s benefit, never just their own. Your family members definitely love you more than they let on. They may even tell you that they dislike/hate you for your actions, but when asked if they can live without you, I am pretty certain that they will give a negative answer. That is the power of family, it goes deep down.
I am and will be eternally thankful for my family and what they have done for me, no matter what it is. I do not express my gratitude all the time, but in my heart I appreciate them more than they can imagine. My parents have worked hard to support my brother and I, as well as their own parents and I will never forget that. My brother, he has been my rock for a long time and he really supports me in ways that he may not even know of. Sometimes I think about him and know that if there is someone I want to protect first, it will be my little brother, even though he is not little anymore, haha.
Today, I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, especially my father because he is the most hardworking person I know, for supporting our family, for being strong during difficult times and for being there with us. Happy Fathers’ day to you, Daddy.