Honor your father and your mother, says the 5th Commandment. Here are some thoughts inspired by the writings of Sirach in the Bible and by Abigail Van Buren (popularly known as Dear Abby-Column). May she rest in peace.

It is sad that once we have our feet solidly under us, we tend to keep our distance and take our parents for granted. We tend to deal with them only at our convenience: perhaps to watch our children, or run errands for us. Sometimes we deem their concerns and affection as parental intervention.

ďMom and Dad know that we have our own lives," we often say. We expect them to reach out to us instead of the other way around. Many only make contact with them when they are ill or dying. We seem to overlook the fact that the older they get, the more they become sickly and insecure.  Yet, many of us have the tendency to be very demanding, use them and only think what we can extract from them. 

Even worse, many of us keep on harboring ill feelings towards them. We keep on nurturing the bitterness that we have accumulated and hoarded in our minds for what we deem as physical and/or emotional abuses when we were growing up.

We keep on rerunning the pain and refuse to acknowledge the fact that their intention had been to strengthen our characters to make us straight and upright, better and successful persons that we are today.

Yet many of us refuse to let go and with every opportunity keep on reminding and humiliating them, make them feel guilty and expecting payback, redemption, restitution or apology. What a selfish way to show gratitude!

Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate him to be happy, so when he grows up, he'll know the value of things, not the price.

If we look around us, there are successful and happy people who are grateful that their parents were strict and stern. Likewise we've heard of people who are problems of society because of too much tolerance and lack of discipline from their parents. Most of them are celebrities and they blame their parents for what they have become. 

Parents have only good intentions for the welfare of their children but they also make mistake because they are just humans and we should understand. It has been said that the right balance of love and discipline is what makes a successful parenting. Truly, love without discipline is false; discipline without love is force.

God so treasures our parents that He gives His kindness, devotion and care to them in many loving ways. Godís love and blessing live in each parent. Each precious golden moment of caring we give them is pleasing to Him. We may have all the wealth and honor on earth and no matter how high we've scaled in our career or elsewhere, if we do not have a good relationship with our parents, we are a failure.

The greatest of all in the eyes of God is the amount of love that we give to them.  Sirach 3:1-16 describes our duties and the consequences of dealing with them. We obey Him when we honor our father and we please Him when we make our mother happy. The Lord does not forget our love and kindness to them. He does not ignore our indifference to them either. Serving them is more of a privilege than an obligation.

We grieve when they pass away. Some of us have to travel far to show our grief. Why do we have to wait until they are gone and show our concern?  Why don't we learn to ignore their shortcomings and  focus only on what they have done to make our life upright, strong and successful? Why donít we express our affection to them while they still breathe?  We will be glad that we do.  Letís not wait until they are dying, for tears could not bring them back when theyíre gone. 

Letís love them while they can feel the sweet and tender feelings from the expression of true affection of kind words, thoughtfulness and caring. Letís tell them how we love them while they can still hear those sweet words so they can enjoy and treasure them. 

Letís not wait until they are six feet below the ground enclosed in a stone and engrave those priceless words on a marble for others to see. Letís tell  and show them how we care and love them and donít feel terrible later if we fail to express those wonderful words of love and affection while they still live.  It will be too late and we will be haunted forever.

By Tim Pedrosa


The Ten Commandments

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched and those who tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives. We cannot go back and create a new beginning but we can begin today to create a new end.