28.6.08

Grandfather knows best


I found this very, very old photograph of my grandfather. If I remember correctly this was taken in our house many, many years ago in 1970. (On the background is our stereo set which my father himself assembled with his own two hands).

My grandad was a classic old schooled man. He was served, literally by everyone: my grandmother, his daughters, his sons, including us the grandchildren. His word was the law. No one dared disobey his wishes. That was his role in our patriarchal clan.

The thing is all the men in this family acted like kings in a fiefdom, expecting everyone serving at their pleasure.

I believe this mentality is now a thing of the past. Though, I am not really sure. Is it? I don't know if this is good or what. The system of change has changed. My grandfather's era was contrived. Nothing was spontaneous. Expectations were clear and expected to be fulfilled. You are told to do something? There is no way you will not acquiesce.

My father's was that caught between the strained generation of his father and that of the oncoming baby boomer generation. He still practiced what was characteristically that of his father's but just the same felt disaffected. There were times his kindness was almost palpable, he wasn't even aware of it. Yet, to him this was a sign of weakness. He had no choice but be like his father because he didn't know any better. I guess their style suited that period of time.

I am posting about the past. It is the only way I know how I can better understand what is now and what's in store for the future. Having my own children and with issues here and there, looking back may well give me an indication of how to deal with these issues better. At the moment, I am a little lost. I question my parenting skills. Did I do things right?

Or maybe I am as always just over analyzing every bit of thing.

My Tatang (grandad) should be able to give me the answer. If only he was here.