Friday, May 30, 2014

Love in the Family

We are all very different in the way we express our inner feelings. Some persons have little difficulty in saying, 'I love you' to family and siblings, while others find it awkward and unnecessary. Expressing our emotions is often  considered not a proper way of acting and in Asia possibly more so than in the West. The Asians may be more private about what they feel most strongly. 

In the Desk Column in the Catholic Times, the writer mentions a friend who had difficulty in saying what she felt inside when she was at her father's bedside before he died. All she could  say was 'sorry' although in her heart and head, she wanted to say: "I love you. Father, I am very proud to be your daughter; I am sorry for not being closer to you; I wanted to do better I am sorry, forgive me." Her father died three years before and when she thinks of what she wanted to say and did not, tears come to her eyes. Why were  the words she wanted to say blocked and prevented from coming out?

This is not only true with loving words for parents but also with family. The love and care, we should have in the family is as necessary as the air we breathe, she says, and should be the very foundation of family life. We are hearing about 'Family Love Syndrome' after the Sewol tragedy in which over 300 died. Korean society is fast-paced, and few are the  times the family can spend together. However, we see a movement in society to regain again the closeness of family life and spending time with each other.

Consumption has decreased, but money spent on family has increased. The dining out has decreased, but families going out to eat together has increased. Company and student group outings have decreased but families traveling together within and outside of the country have increased. This she says, is similar to what happened in the United States after the 2001 September 11 tragedy, and in Japan, after the earthquake and the tsunami.

A survey  was made of 500 adults to determine how much time was spent in conversation with one's steady, friends and parents. With the boy or girl friend, we had 140 minutes a week, with friends it was 97 minutes and with parents, it was 6 minutes.

Rare is the expression, I love you  to the parents for when they hear it, they ask: do you need money?

During the last minutes of the sinking of the Sewol,  the children, for the most part, were expressing their love for the parents with their smart phones. Over one month has passed since the tragedy, and still the whole country is overcome with distrust. The lack of morality gives birth to despair and helplessness. If we are just sorry for the loss of the innocent lives what good is it? She asks. Is there not a need to show love in the family more so than we have in the past?

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