“Like father like son”
When our daughter was three years old and I had hurt my back, I walked for a while with my back crooked and my other hand behind my back. My mother who happened to be there wondered how my daughter soon walked in the same way, her back bent and her other hand behind her back. It was pretty amusing to watch! As children, we learn a lot from our parents in both a good and sometimes bad way. However, learning from a model does not end in childhood. “Learning is bidirectional. We learn from the environment, and the environment learns and is modified thanks to our actions.” (Albert Bandura).
In today’s world, there are a lot of confrontations and disagreements. Social media in particular often lacks genuine respect for another person’s opinion. It is clear that offensive speech, accusation, malicious exaggeration, and nullification of another affect the human mind and our environment, increasing mental unwellness. The behaviors and values we hold on shape us. Good guidance is needed: “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.” (Ps.37: 37). “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22: 6).
The fourth of the Bible’s ten commandments is, “Honor your father and mother.” The culture of respect begins with the family. It is important that in a pluralistic world, there is both privilege and freedom to disagree and express one’s opinion or belief with respect for others. Instead of hate and condemnation, the ability to learn to listen and respect those who think differently is needed. The Apostle Paul writes a good advice for Christians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8)
I wish everyone a refreshing and blessed summer! Hopefully we can get together as soon as possible as the pandemic eases.
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