Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Good parenting - some thoughts from the far side of the universe

Good parenting is such a noble mission that it spans galaxies. Such is the vastness of space that statistically life is likely to exist in some form elsewhere in the universe. Equally such are the unimaginable distances that we are very unlikely to make contact. However the nature of alien life be it humanoid, super-intelligent blobs, or lichens will share one aspect of existence with us – the need to nurture the young.
Without this priority no species could survive. Obvious though this may be, the good parent is a complex notion however natural his or her skills may appear.
There is no other relationship like the good parent and their offspring. Pet owners expect if they are kind and caring to their animals that they will be cherished. There is no such guarantee with children, as any parent of moody teenagers will know.
When it would better equip your life to do the reverse, you take time teaching a child independence; values higher than perhaps you yourself can maintain; and above all wish them a life better than your own.
Fate, or God’s will, may intercede for better or worse. It cannot be anything other than the bitterest blow in this world or anywhere else for a parent to see illness or at worst death destroy their child’s future. There are many instances where parents have given their own lives that their children might survive.
It seems a lot to ask of our DNA that the double helix can produce such sophisticated biological determinism in the making of the good parent.
I like to think that somehow there is a universal constant that children shall stand not in the shadow but the shade of their parents.

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