Friday, February 20, 2015

A Father's Lesson To His Children

Parents in Korea have often in the past given all of their possessions to the children before death.  Buying a house for the son, when marrying, was frequent and helping a son to begin a new business venture was common. Parents in other societies would often do the same, but in Korean society parents often become penniless helping their children. This is changing and parents are not as quick to give all of their savings to the children before death.

Parents feel an obligation to pay for their children's expenses long after their off-spring have become adults. This results in  parents needing to be dependent on the children.Not uncommon is to see grandfathers and grandmothers with little energy, and dreams, precisely because they are dependent on the children.The following story in a diocesan bulletin is helping to educate parents on what they need to do in their retirement years. Stories of this type we see often, which is bringing about a change in the way parents  prepare for retirement.

A father had educated all his children and they all  were married and had left the family home. The father was diagnosed with a serious decease, and called all the children and their mates to the house.

"I have raised you and  sent you to college and  took care of the expenses for marriage and all that was necessary. You know I am not in good health, and  not able to work, and  I went into debt to educate the four of you. Here is a piece of paper to write down what you can repay."

The children stared vacantly at each other.  The second son who was not in the best of circumstances wrote down 50 thousand dollars. The other children were, as at an auction, deciding  what to write. The oldest son wrote down 20 thousand, the third son 15 thousand and the daughter 10 thousand. 

There were no visits to the sick father or telephone calls. He called the children again to his bedside and this time only the children came.

"I  don't want any fighting over the inheritance after my death, and bad feelings among the four of you, so I have  prepared everything with the help of a lawyer. You will all get 5 times more than you wrote on the pieces of paper. After this is deducted there will be  about 3 million dollars left which will be given to charity."

Hearing these word they were all struck dumb, and their faces turned deathly pale.                                                                                                                                           

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