updated 22 Jan 2011, 14:29
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Sat, Jan 22, 2011
The Brunei Times/Asia News Network
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The bigger career called parenting

It's about time, indeed, that we went back to the family as the basic unit of society where the most effective interventions can be had to stem the tide of social ills that we've seen over the recent years.

We highlight the call sounded off by the recently concluded National Seminar on Social Issues in its resolutions and recommendations, that parents must ensure their children keep the right company.

This is a kernel of wisdom that's easily available to anyone who becomes a parent, and yet many of us forget, or choose to forget, as we toil each day to put food on our dining tables.

We go out of our way to keep our jobs, our careers, our businesses, and we do it primarily because we want to offer our children the best that we could.

It's beyond our imagination to see our children at an empty dining table. We want to keep them physically healthy and so we work and we work so our wallets can keep up with our choices of food that we deem appropriate for their growing up years.

And we sometimes forget that we also need to feed their minds with bits of advice and counselling to keep them in the right path.

How many of us do remember that while our children are eating a healthy meal we are also supposed to talk to them? That their stomachs are not the only ones that need to be fed.

Dinnertime is family time. But some have taken that for granted. And to think it is the least that we can do to keep up with our obligations as parents.

Some of us may have enjoyed success in our careers and we count it as an important contribution to society.

We bask in that glory that our peers and superiors shower us when our work-related accomplishments are recognised.

When our sons and daughters are still apparently keeping the right path, do we notice it, or celebrate it?

Some of us notice them only when they do wrong and in unfortunate cases it becomes the trigger for them to be drawn to a journey to a place we all fear.

Our drive to succeed in the workplace or in business clouds our understanding of our role as parents.

Such resolve tends to make us forget that parenting is also our career a career that we had chosen before we made that vow to raise a family.

We need to remind ourselves constantly that raising our children is our career and it is not inferior to any other. It is a career that does not pay for the rent, but success in it is more satisfying than our ability to buy a nice car.

But we forget, we forget.

We forget that our success in raising our children and its relevance as our contribution to the good of society should never be taken lightly.

For, after all, keeping the moral fabric of our society is a goal that we can achieve not the least by taking care of the health of society's basic unit: the family.

It is for governments, primarily, to take care of erecting shields against the onslaught of moral threats, but healthy relationships within the family are the strongest antidote to moral degradation or the threat of it.

Perhaps, it's high time we considered celebrating the success of some parents by giving out public recognition to those who have shown exemplary achievements in rearing their children.

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