Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Good Son
Mom and Dad are going through some hard times these days. So, it occurred to me to take this opportunity to say a few words on their behalf.
Now, I love you Mom and Dad, and I appreciate all that you've done for me. You've nurtured me and protected me and you've taught me many things. One of the most important things you've taught me is the necessity of being honest. No matter how difficult it may be we must always look at things honestly. And it's in that spirit that I'm making these remarks.
You're going through some tough times right now -- but, Mom and Dad, I have to say this -- most of the difficulties you find yourselves facing today are of your own making. You've been successful in life and have accumulated many things. Things which a lot of our neighbors would love to have, but don't. But rather than being respectful of their feelings, you've purposely flaunted your wealth in their faces. Then you wonder why they don't like you. Instead of trying to think of ways that you could perhaps make their lives a little better, you just keep on accumulating more and more things. In short, you've been very selfish.
And Dad, I hate to say this, but the manner in which you've built up your little empire here was not always above board, was it? If fact, I think it would be fair to say that you've cheated a lot of people who were supposed to be your friends. It seems to me that all you've ever cared about was lining your own pockets, and to hell with the other guy.
Now, I know I've benefited from this largess, but I don't feel too good about that. In fact, I feel pretty ashamed of it all. That's why I've been siding more and more with those poor people whom you've victimized. I feel it's never too late to make amends, and I'm willing to do my part to make things right. You've had it your way for a long time now. But now things are changing.
And now to you, Mom. You know how much I love you, Mom, but you also know that you've made some pretty big mistakes in your life. You've been blessed with many things. You've lived a life of luxury and privilege. But you've also been thoughtlessly ostentatious and insensitive to other people's feelings. You have, I hate to say it, rubbed your good fortune in their faces. While some of our less fortunate friends and neighbors were worrying about whether or not they would have enough food on the table for dinner that night, you've pranced around town with your fine clothes and expensive furs; then you wonder why they dislike you. And although I certainly won't go into all the gory details, you have to admit that there have been many times in your pampered life when your actions have been, shall we say, somewhat outrageous and provocative. Then you wonder why our friends and neighbors question your morality.
So, there you have it, folks.
I consider myself a good son, and that's why I've had to say these things to you, even though they may be unpleasant. I love you and I care about you, but you're never going to get out of your present difficulties until you face the truth about yourselves. Mom and Dad, you've been selfish and self-centered, dishonest and immoral. You've never considered other people's feelings, only your own. And now, all these people, these good neighbors of ours, who should have been our best friends, have grown to despise you. And, I must say, I'm beginning to understand their feelings.
There are some people out there, I'm sure, who think that by my talking this way about my own Mom and Dad I'm somehow being disloyal. That couldn't be further from the truth. I love them and I care about them deeply; I care enough about them to tell them the truth. Because, until they can face the truth about themselves their troubles will only increase and multiply.
Here's wishing you all the best, Mom and Dad,
The Good Son.