Voices of Our Children
We want silence, we at least deserved it. What we have created is no longer within our grasp, they learn faster than us, they become better than us, worst of all they questioned us, answered us. These are answers that we do not expect, answers that we were scared to hear from them, that’s why we strike them down; we hurt them, because we can’t feel less superior to them, because after all we are their parents. The ones who raised them, brought them upon this world, took care of them, sacrificed for them, but after all these things, we do not own them, we don’t live their lives, we can’t use them. Who are we to them now? What have they become?
At a dinner table at which we ate as a whole family, our son, his eyes, watered by his own tears after a lecture from his very own mother, stabbed him like knives, was about to give out, say words that we do not expect of someone from such a young age, words that would help us realize what kind of a person he has become. He stood up, rage in his eyes, yet, he was sure of his words. My wife looked at him with a hint of despair and sadness; she was scared, and scared beyond all belief, because she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, neither do I. He stood up and said to us in manner by which we haven’t seen before, he was calm, even we see his red eyes filled by his tears, and he was calm. The words were: “You gave us education, you gave us rights, you taught us to fight for what we believe for, you raised us, you have taught us everything that we needed to understand this cruel world, you gave us a voice, you gave us reason, you gave us all these things, yet you cannot understand nor comprehend or even have the slightest idea why we answer back, why we defy some of your judgements, why we are able to do what we could possibly do. You give us all these things, and you expect us not to fight for what we think what is right? Don’t be stupid. We have become something more than what you expected us to be. We became something more than what you and him will ever be.”
We were in silence, he walked out the house, and we were left there speechless. “What has become of our son?” my wife asked me, and I answered her with silence. I wished I knew the answer, but there was something in those words that he had said, in which we understood, in which we knew he was right.
The next day, a couple of other parents from our neighbourhood came and gathered around the neighbourhood clubhouse, discussing about what happened last night. It turns out that it wasn’t just our child that told us those words; it was from every other child from the neighbourhood or probably the entire world. Every single parent was in outrage, some were worried, some were saddened, some felt that they needed to make action, and they discussed about that “action”. “We teach them a lesson that they’ll never forget. Looks like grounding them will no longer give them the lesson that they need to learn, let’s bring back the punishments they truly deserve.” One father said to the community.
“Let’s give them more love and support.” A mother shouted out.
“Beating them seems to work.” another mother from the community. Her statement gave her weird looks from the crowd.
Most agreed on what the first speaker has said, then they started to ask what kinds of punishment to the children actually deserve. There was a lot of murmuring in the crowd, until one old man came and stood up, he rose up his glasses, and looked at the crowd. And then he started: “Look at you, all of you parents gathered here today, with reasons all the same. You are all discussing more about what punishments, rather, what lessons, you should give your children for standing up and fighting for what is right. You all look confused, all look outsmarted, by the wits and brains of the children today, I mean after all, who are the creators, of these creatures, who are the mentors, who are the origin? Aren’t all these things, every single one of you, and yet, you decide to punish them, when you taught them all the things you wanted them to learn? They are just merely using what you gave them, against you, because after all, the student always surpasses the mentor.”
The entire crowd was in silent, it was a man living alone, and yet was able to survive and make a fortune, considering that he had one of the biggest houses in the neighbourhood.
“And who are you to judge us, someone like you without children, and someone who is weak and fragile? Why should we listen to you when you have not experienced what we feel?” A man asked him.
“And that is why the children of today wanted their voices to be heard, that’s why they have become who they are now. You consider them to be disrespectful to their parents, and their parents saying that they do not deserve any of these, a matter of fact, they do. We have become too self-righteous, too self-centred, too-godlike, to actually realize that our own creation will soon surpass us. We don’t want to be corrected by someone younger than us, nor do we even want to hear their voice, because they don’t have one, yet. And that’s what’s imprinted in our selfish minds. That our children do not have a voice worth to be heard, and that all they need always is correction and direction, and with that they are contained in a prison, and just like any prisoner, they dream to be free, and they always, always plan a breakout.”
“Ask yourselves what you have become, I did. I realized this when I lost him. My own son, he fought me, because he knew the things he fought for were real, his ideas and dreams were fragments that I continue breaking into million pieces. Judging him constantly, changing his direction, into places he doesn’t want to be. Then one day, I lost him, completely, then I looked at the mirror, and I saw a person, a father looking straight back at me, with eyes, eyes that used to be the same as my very own creation, and that’s when I realized, what has become of me. I was powered with my own pride, that I destroyed his, I forgot about his voice, his freedom of speech and all these things I gave unto and him, and destroyed it all. I destroyed his free will, his character and what he will become of the future, not because I wanted the best for him, but because I wanted the best for me. I was selfish. I wish that I could hear those words again, the words he said unto me in that dinner table, before......before what happened.” Then he burst into tears crying.
Things quieted down, no one knew what to do, so each of the parents dispersed into their own houses. I walked to him, the man, the speaker of the hour and asked him “You were the one who set this up, am I right?”
“He was a quiet kid, really quiet and I was angry at him most of the time because I had no one else, and he took that anger. I disrespected him, forgotten about everything that he had, his pride, his honour, his dreams all those things. I tried to make him a better person, not realizing it was all just for me. I thought he wanted me to do it. I never gave him a voice; he never had a chance to speak up, because he was scared. I scared him; his very own father scared him. Then he decided to say those words, few, but respectable and understandable, words that were right but disrespectful or so that’s the way I thought before. I was too self-righteous and I loved it before, and hated it now. I never knew I would lose him that night. I’m........ just, just so hurt. We never realized that something or someone is so important........ until we lose them, completely. Then we do everything to make things right again, but in the end we realized that we can’t have what we had back. And God, I prayed for everything to be back, and I swore over and over again I would make myself a better father, a better parent.” Then he was quiet.
I knew him. He was that person, that person that I idolized the most and hated the most. He was my living inspiration and my symbol of hatred in this world. He lost me, that night, and I kept thinking that it’s better of that way, at least he heard my voice for that one single moment, and that it was worth it, but he is my father after all, and my only parent left in this world, and with that I was in tears, and looked at him and said : “Your son has returned, for once he was lost and now found again, for once he was dead and now brought back into life, and for once he lost his voice, now gained it back.” And gave him a hug, a hug that I should have gave him years ago, during that night. That night he heard a voice of a child, a voice kept in the darkness for a long time, a voice ever so strong and powerful that it changed someone’s life.