Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amazing but True

Never in my life did I see my father or mother angry.  Some may question my honesty here, or that I suffer from a very selective memory.  As incredible as it may seem, it remains simply true.  So I ask, how did my parents respond when the natural expectation would be anger?  They would respond with patience, wonderment, concern, and perhaps a little sadness.  Once, as teenagers two friends and I went quail hunting using our family car to travel to the fields.  In route, a shotgun accidentally discharged and the buckshot went through the front floorboard, deflected off the frame, and destroyed the radiator.  Of course, I had to tell dad.  It’s odd, but even then I did not anticipate anger.  What did I expect to see but wonderment, concern, and appreciation that none of us were hurt?  That’s exactly the way he reacted.  I never had to anticipate or fear anger on the part of my father.  My dad never once whipped me.  I asked mother if she ever did.  She said that once when I was a small child she got a small bush branch and swatted my legs when I was running and not looking where I was going—perhaps it involved a street.  Yet, never having seen her angry, I can only presume that even then each swat was directed with love and concern rather than anger.  I have been in public places and seen parents yelling in anger at their children.  I find it impossible to understand how a child would feel being the recipient of intense outbursts of parental anger.  Of course, in life I have had people angry at me.  My response to anger too often is reciprocal anger.  It comes so automatically and naturally, I can only be amazed at the lack of it in my parents.  It strikes me that the ultimate source of their equanimity was humility—something in which I too often suffer profound deficiencies.

Print Page