Family

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
This piece of work was actually a part of a school competition. The essay is inspired by a picture of a family tree. The essay does include few well-known short stories too, I thank the authors for such brilliant work. Since there is no verification on any particular owner of the stories I fail to mention any name.
The base of the essay is of course my own creation. The message is from my mind too.
LOVE YOUR FAMILY!

Submitted: December 22, 2015

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Submitted: December 22, 2015

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FAMILY

This is the story of a family – a big one – I am a part of it and so are you. Do not allow yourself to miss any word; because this is your story as much as mine.

Let us make a long journey back in time.

It was a small seedling that sprouted, pushing away the soil over it away and marking the beginning of a new dawn – beginning a journey that has continued till now. The first plant was the mother of all plants. Even we, the humans began our journey in the same way – we all have one mother – the first mother. Let’s call her Lucy.

Lucy was the first woman and first wife.  She, the feminine, has taught us many things - the power of love, empathy and understanding. She taught us that it does not benefit us to blame others for our own failings. We must accept personal responsibility for what we do. Lucy, our mother, also taught us the importance of hard work and appreciation.

Lucy is the root of our family tree.

Let us make a jump back to the present with this popular story – The Appreciation of Hard work.

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview; the director did the last interview, made the last decision. The director discovered from the CV that the youth’s academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, “Did you obtain any scholarships in school?” The youth answered “none”.

The director asked, “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?” The youth answered, “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees”.

The director asked, “Where did your mother work?” The youth answered, “My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect”.

The director asked, “Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?” The youth answered, “Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me”.

The director said, “I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother’s hands, and then see me tomorrow morning”.

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid. The youth cleaned his mother’s hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother’s hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother’s hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future. After finishing the cleaning of his mother’s hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother. That night, mother and son talked for a very long time. Next morning, the youth went to the director’s office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth’s eyes, asked:  “Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?” The youth answered, “I cleaned my mother’s hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes”.

The Director asked, “Please tell me your feelings”. The youth said, “Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship”.

The director said, “This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired”. Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company’s performance improved tremendously.

If one doesn’t understand and experience the difficulty it takes to earn the comfort provided by their loved ones, then they will never value it.The most important thing is to experience the difficulty and learn to value hard work of your family members behind all the given comfort.

Now, we once again go back in time to talk about my father and yours too – the first father. Let us call him Krish. Krish, the masculine, taught us about strength, competition and success. Krish is the trunk of our family tree.

We once again come back to the present with another well known story – The Wooden Bowl.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.  But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.”  So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!  When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”  Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

You reap what you sow. Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. Always Respect, Care for and Love them.

Lucy and Krish are the parents of us all. We are their children. Today we are a part of a huge family tree – we call different people as our parents.

 

I tell you one more famous story called Mother’s Sacrifice.

My mom only had one eye. I hated her… she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell… anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school.

I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school… “Your mom only has one eye?!” and they taunted me.

I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, “Mom, why don’t you have the other eye?! You’re only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I’d wanted to say all this time. Maybe it was because my mom hadn’t punished me, but I didn’t think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.

That night… I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.

Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I’m living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it’s a place that doesn’t remind me of my mom.

This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me “What?! Who’s this?!” It was my mother… Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom’s eye.

And I asked her, “Who are you? I don’t know you!!” as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her “How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! Get out of here now!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared. Thank goodness… she doesn’t recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn’t going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Then a wave of relief came upon me… one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house…just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand…. it was a letter to me.

She wrote:

My son, I think my life has been long enough now. And… I won’t visit Seoul anymore… but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school…. For you… I’m sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye… so I gave you mine… I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, ‘it’s because he loves me.’ I miss the times when you were still young around me. I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me.

My World Shattered.  I hated the person who only lived for me .I cried for My Mother, I didn’t know of any way that will make up for my worst deeds…

Never Ever hate anyone for their disabilities.  Never disrespect your parents, don’t ignore and under estimate their sacrifices.  They give us life, they raise us better than they had been, and they give and keep trying to give better than they ever had.  They never wish unwell for their kids even in their wildest dreams.  They always try showing right path and being motivator.  Parents give up all for kids; forgive all mistakes made by kids.  There is no way to repay what they done for kids, all we can do is try giving what they need and it is just time, love and respect.

Our family tree is growing only because there are branches below us. This is the reason why we, the children, can grow.

This family tree must keep on growing. Our smaller families are the branches, we, the individuals, are the leaves, our deeds are the fruits and flowers. Perhaps, we cannot sustain our family tree till infinity of time. But till the time we are growing, we must remember, the importance of our family. We must remember their sacrifices, we must inherit their qualities and responsibilities and we must pass on these. We must remember that we are one. Our branches may be far away, but we must remember that we have the same trunk and the same root. We must remember that back there, the strength of Krish and the love of Lucy is holding us. WE ARE ONE. WE ARE A FAMILY!

 


© Copyright 2020 Aditya Kumar Saroj. All rights reserved.

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