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Useless Person’s day

Father’s day

Some musings on the day attributed to the useless person in the family – the “father’s day”. Just a few days ago, while browsing through face-book, I came across a post which said “If I were to say the words to my parents – that my kids say to me, I wouldn’t be here posting on the face-book”. True? May be a little exaggeration – but none the less, it has an iota of truth.

No knight is hero to his own valet – similarly, no father is hero to his own child! Yes, it’s very nice to give a speech; and eulogise the father as a “my hero”. And win loud claps, and may be a prize or two. Then, you could also give a speech on a common person – such as a bus driver or a janitor – and come out as a winner. And yes, there’s always social media postings – praising own father. Kudos to the children! But the buck (and the thoughts) stops here!

To be fair – let’s ask the question: what good has a father done to deserve more than a fleck of love from his children? I cannot speak for the parents in the world – but I can draw from my own experiences – and I find the hollowness – “NOTHING”!

Nothing – yes, all of us start with ‘nothing’ and end with ‘nothing’. In between, all we have is another heap of ‘nothing’s. No, this is not a philosophical statement – but a practical one. The couple brings forth a child – a child is born, and the status of ‘parents’ is conferred automatically on the man and woman. The man is branded as a father, and the woman, a mother. I would never belittle the role of mother in the life of a child. She is omnipotent, omniscient – everything that’s ‘omni’. On the other hand, the father remains ominous. Respected out of fear, but dreaded like a boogie man of the dark room!  Who brings in the discipline? Who metes out the punishments? Who signs the report cards and pulls you up? Who criticizes and grumbles all the time? Who do you hate? The father figure obviously! What I have said for the role of father, applies equally to the role of husband – but then it’s another story. Unfortunately, there is NO ‘husband’s day’ in this world.

The root cause of all unhappiness is ‘expectation’. A fulfilled expectation is not the end of the tunnel. For a satisfied expectation breeds multiple other expectations. Expectations, like wants (in Economic terms) are unlimited but the means to satisfy are limited. I take the liberty of classifying the expectations as internal and external. Those which can be fulfilled by one are ‘internal’; whereas the ones which can be satisfied by action of others are ‘external’.  You have every right to feel hurt for not meeting the internal expectations – because it’s under your control. For example, I expect to lose 25 pounds by end of the year – but I find that I did not (to the contrary, gained few pounds). Now, I have every reason to feel agitated and disturbed for not meeting my ‘expectations’. My love for the couch and the food resulted in the failure.

But external expectations? Expecting your child to do things you couldn’t do yourself? Like becoming a professional such as an engineer or a doctor? Do you have control over others? Are you GOD? If the external expectations are not met – then who is to blame? None other than the person having the expectations.

As mentioned, the root cause of all miseries is expectations. Have none, and you won’t hurt. Have one, you hurt a little. Have lots, and you hurt a lot. For not all are lucky to have the expectations met. ‘Exceeds expectations’ looks really cool during annual review; but the life is not a review – and rarely, if at all, you will exceed expectations. And so far as your children are concerned, this will NEVER happen. Sorry, I retract my statement – a father will exceed expectations (so far his child is concerned) only when being a boor or a moron or a stingy / miser. No other time!

A preaching by swami about the importance of parents in children’s life moved a boy so much that he demanded of his father “Dad, I want you to come to my room at 8:45 in the morning – so that I may bow down, and take your blessings”. The dad was so moved by this, he said: “Son, if you are going to show some respect to me, I shall be standing outside your bedroom door for the whole night AND wait for your to wake up!”

This sums up the lives of fathers in the world – they continue to wait outside their son’s door, and then become upset that their expectations are NOT MET. Go, lie down in your own bed; don’t continue to wait and waste!

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Last modified: March 30, 2023