Daily Archives: June 30, 2004

Family Values

Yesterday I received a call from my friend from Australia. The call sounded like a local call so I asked where she was calling from. When she said she was in KL, the thought that something’s happened to her mum immediately raced thru my mind. She just went back last month after a 3-week stay so it must be something important for her to be back so soon. It was indeed – her mum passed away 2 weeks ago. Apparently soon after she left KL, her mum was taken ill and admitted to the hospital. When her condition took a turn for the worse, my friend immediately made arrangements to fly back but it was unfortunate that her mum passed away just a day before she arrived. But the important thing was she and her husband took the trip home despite being here just a few weeks ago. I truly respect them for their filial piety.

There’s a Chinese saying

“If one is not filial to their parents when they are alive, it’s pointless to practise filial piety when they’re gone.”

Yes & No. If one never did his/her part as a son/daughter to care for their parents, then it’s not relevant to put up a show at their funeral. But as children, we should care for our folks, not just the material sense but more importantly emotionally such as being sensitive to their needs, spending quality time with them and ensuring we give our due respect to them until the day they depart from this life.

In contrast, this is a story I’ve heard from a colleague of mine. 10 years ago her classmate migrated to Perth with the family and were doing pretty well there. Recently they were called back, anticipating to perform the last rites when her mother-in-law was critically ill. However, miraculously, she recovered after they came back. After a short stay, they left. However, at their farewell gathering, she told my colleague that they’ve done their part by coming back. And they won’t be coming back when the old folk finally took her last breath.:shock:

It’s really sad hearing such comments.:sad: It just shows the lack of family values in people these days. If she were working to make ends meet and could ill afford the ticket, I could understand. But coming from someone who is financially sound is totally astonishing. Or was that the influence of western culture.

But, my friend has migrated to Australia for more than two decades and what she’s done shows that i’t’s all up to the individual how you uphold your roots and values. In fact, I’m proud to say that in the last few years, she has been making yearly trip back to see her folks (her own mother and her in-laws) and of course, we make it a point to take the opportunity to get-together for old times’ sake. Now that both sides’ old folks are no longer around, hope she will still make regular trips back to KL for our gathering.:smile: