The Misunderstood "Indifference" of Aging Parents

The Misunderstood "Indifference" of Aging Parents
Photo by Sven Mieke / Unsplash

In "The Bonds of Life," it is written, "Only the love of parents for their children can be considered truly selfless." This love is not only selfless but also meticulous. When you were young, they were worried about you being hungry, cold; when you began working, they feared you wouldn't take care of yourself alone...

They always strived to protect you, often neglecting their own needs in the process. Yet, at some point, their constant inquiries about our well-being seemed to lessen. They no longer asked us daily about our lives, and the phone calls we made to them were usually concluded after only a few words. It may seem as though parents have become "indifferent," no longer expressing concern. But is this truly the case? Behind this apparent indifference, how much unspoken affection is concealed? This perceived indifference of parents is merely their way of avoiding disrupting your life. These days you've been so busy – with work, with dating, with marriage, with children – that there's hardly any time to pause.

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As time flies by, amidst your hectic schedule, you find time to call your parents who are far away in your hometown. No matter what you ask them, their response remains the same: "Everything is fine, go on with your tasks." Regardless of any discomfort or recent hardships they might be experiencing, they never share these details with their children. Even if they miss their children, they never take the initiative to call. They've become used to sharing only the good news and concealing the bad, mirroring the way we began to conduct ourselves when we first left home for the outside world. They've become used to staying put, not to save money, but to ensure there's hot food ready on the table whenever their children visit. Their primary concern is that their children are doing well; they don't want to burden their children with their own troubles.

So they stubbornly insist on remaining in their old home, working in their fields, and earning that little bit of money which no one else seems to care about. In this way, they can evade the profound loneliness and longing that might otherwise consume them. They aim to live their life in the manner they're most comfortable with. As the saying goes, "Parents treat their children like kites. Although their children may fly far away, parents' hearts are always tethered to the line, swaying in the wind." All the love in the world gravitates towards reunion, only parental love gravitates towards separation. Thus, parents' "indifference" is merely a facade. Don't be deceived by their "kind lies." Filial piety must be practiced early – they can't wait...

While parents are alive, life still has a place to originate from. Once parents are gone, life only has a place to return to.

"The tree desires peace, but the wind never ceases. The child desires to provide, but the parent does not wait." It is hoped that when you comprehend these words, everything will still be as it should be. As time passes, parents inevitably age. For those children who have spent years away from home, opportunities to see their parents diminish. Sometimes, even a moment's distraction may lead to a permanent farewell. No matter how diligently you work, the speed of success can't outpace the rate of your mother's aging...

There is always room in your city house for your parents' bed; the pace of your struggle can slow down a bit to notice your parents' aging faces; some time can be squeezed from your overtime to frequently visit home. People often only appreciate the past when they've grown old, cherishing it only after it has been lost. So, treat them well! Don't wait until the two people who love you most in this world have departed before you regret not spending enough time with them.

Filial piety should not wait. It might be too late if you hesitate even a moment longer.

This article is dedicated to all parents in the world. May you be blessed with good health and peace; and to all children in the world. Hopefully, you can find some time to often visit home!