Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Blame – VII. Parents

We say that there are two certainties in life;  Death and
Taxes.  May I be allowed to add a third:  A human life will also
include many difficulties.  It is never easy to be human.  At one
time or another we will have health, financial, work-related,
relationship, emotional, and many other problems.  It is perhaps
normal to blame when we are in pain.  The idea in this part, and
the following two parts, is to put the blame in perspective.  Let
us start with our parents.

Our parents gave us life.  They are at our side from
helplessness to adulthood and beyond.  My children are adults now
with their own families.  However, if you were to ask me how I
did it, I would be stumped.  Of course I was younger and very
motivated.  The task was shared with my wife.  It was a day-to-
day affair; every day I learned something new.  I have no doubt
that nature has also equipped me for this awesome task.
Nevertheless, a human infant is such a complex being, I still
wonder how I managed it.

Some parents have a natural talent for parenting.  Many
others do not.  And still others are negligent, indifferent, or
reckless.  For a child, luck will play a big role.  Whatever the
case, none of us ever get a royal flush when it comes to
parents.  Parents will come with their own personalities, quirks,
and beliefs.  They can only give what they have.  If they both
have a very limited education, they cannot establish an
intellectual atmosphere in the house!

Ultimately, there can be no doubt that parents will have a
significant influence on their children.  There will always be
room for blame.  The idea is to put the blame in perspective by
taking into account the aforementioned limitations under which
parents labor, and the fact that we often tend to exaggerate the
impact they have on us.  Sometimes what appears to be negative
turns out to be positive.  I have an excellent personal example.

Norma and I are low-energy people.  We run out of steam
quickly.  Accordingly, we enlisted the help of our children as
soon as it was humanly possible to do so.  Even at a very young
age, they helped us in small ways such as folding the laundry and
putting the groceries away.  By 6, Rita was making both her and
her brother school lunches (we still hear about it!).  Later they
helped in cleaning the house and doing the laundry.  I paid for
services rendered and avoided a big outcry.  For health reasons,
Norma could not work.  With one income coming into the household,
I told my children that they were on their own if they wanted to
go to university.  I would, however, provide them with free room
and board for as long as they needed it.  They both went to
university and obtained their degrees; and they didn’t take me up
on my offer of free room and board.

Much later on, when I thought about these particular aspects
of their upbringing, I realized that we gave them the invaluable
gift of initiative.  We didn’t do it on purpose, it just happened
naturally.  And this is the kind of lesson that stays with the
child as if it was carved in stone.  The daily sermons on the
other hand tend to have a limited impact; some will survive
adulthood, most won’t.

Rita moved out in 1989 at the age of 21.  She worked,
studied, and subsisted on an impossible budget.  If she ever
writes a small pamphlet as to how she made ends meet, it would be
a must-read for every Minister of Finance in the world!

Michael loves sports.  Unfortunately for him, his parents
did not share his interest.  Yet, with the help of his friends,
he learned how to ride a bicycle, skate, ski, play hockey,
racquetball, and golf. 

Sometimes what appears to be negative turns out to be very
positive indeed.

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