This story is about what happened in a typical middle-class household. The son didn’t like living in his house.
“You are leaving the room without switching off the fan”
“The TV on in the room where there is no one. Switch it off!”
“Keep the pen in the stand; it has fallen down”
The son didn’t like his father nagging him for these ‘minor’ things. Yet he had to tolerate these things since he was with them in the same house.
But today, however, he has an invitation for a job interview. “As soon as I get the job, I should leave this town. There won’t be any nagging from my father” were his thoughts.
He left for the interview.
“Answer the questions put to you without any hesitation. Even if you don’t know the answer, mention that confidently.” Father gave him more money than he actually needed to attend the interview. The son reached the interview center.
There was no security outside near the gate. Even though the door was open, the latch was protruding out probably hitting the people entering through the door. He put the latch properly, closed the door and entered the office.
On both sides of the pathway he could see beautiful flower plants. The gardener had kept the water running in the hose-pipe and was not to be seen anywhere. The water was overflowing on the pathway. He kept the hosepipe near the plant and went further.
There was no one in the reception area. However, there was a notice saying that the interview was in the first floor. He slowly climbed the stairs.
The light that was switched on last night was still burning at 10 am in the morning. He remembered his father’s admonition, “Why are you leaving the room without switching off the light?” and thought he could still hear that now. Even though he felt irritated by that thought, he sought the switch and switched off the light.
Upstairs in a large hall he could see many aspirants sitting waiting for their turn. He looked at the number of people and wondered if he had any chance of getting the job.
He entered the hall with some trepidation and stepped on the “Welcome” mat placed near the door. He noticed that the mat was upside down. He straightened out the mat with some irritation. Habits die hard.
He saw that in a few rows in the front there were many people waiting for their turn, whereas the back rows were empty, but a number of fans were running over those rows of seats.
He heard his father’s voice again, “Why are the fans running in the room where there is no one?” He switched off the fans that were not needed and sat at one of the empty chairs.
He could see many men entering the interview room and immediately leave from another door. There was thus no way anyone could guess what was being asked in the interview.
He went and stood before the interviewer with some trepidation and concern.
The officer took the certificates from him and without looking at them asked, “How soon can you begin work?”
He thought, “Is this a trick question being asked in the interview, or is this a signal that I have actually landed the job?” He was confused.
“What are you thinking?” asked the interviewer. “We didn’t ask anyone any question here. By asking a few questions we won’t be able to assess the skills of anyone. So, our test was to assess the attitude of the person. We kept certain tests based on the behavior of the candidates and we observed everyone through CCTV. No one who came today did anything to set right the hose pipe, the welcome mat, the uselessly running fans or lights. You were the only one who did that. That’s why we have decided to select you for the job.” said the interviewer.
He always used to get irritated at his father’s discipline and remonstrations. Now he realized that it is only the discipline that has got him his job. His irritation and anger at his father vanished completely.
He decided that he would bring his father too to his workplace and left for home happily.
Whatever our parents tell us is only for our bright future!
A rock doesn’t become a beautiful sculpture if it resists the pain of the chisel chipping it away.
For us to become a beautiful sculpture and a human being we need to chisel out the bad habits and behavior from ourselves. Those are what our father does when he disciplines us.
The mother (generally) lifts the child up on her waist to feed her, to cuddle her, and to put her to sleep. But the father is not like that. He lifts the child up on his shoulders to make her see the world that he couldn’t see.
We can realize the pain the mother undergoes by listening to her; but the father’s pain can be realized only when others tell us about it.
Our father is our hero when we are five years old, maybe a villain when we are twenty, but a guidepost when he is no more in our midst.
It is normally the case that the mother can go to her daughter’s or son’s home when she is old; but the father doesn’t know how to do that. He is always independent and alone. These differences may not be fair and may not apply in all cases but they are real.
These are only some of the reasons why it is such a challenge and, in a sense, an injustice that only one parent should have to carry all duties and responsibilities for a child. And these are some of the many reasons that Allah has ordered the believers to appreciate and honor both parents always.
Hence there is no use nor good in hurting our parents when they are alive only to remember them in pain when they have passed away.
Rather we should honor them in life and death, in word and deed – by how we are as their legacy to Allah and to our fellow men.