If you think I’m talking about “necking” couples, doing it in public, then you’re wrong. I’m talking about a whole other public display I was subjected to the other day, which got me thinking about the severe underuse of common sense in an emotionally charged situation during which a person tends to undermine the importance of his/her show of emotion on other individuals in the vicinity.
I was walking along Rochor Road, on my way back from Tekka Market in Little India and I had just treated myself to some good window shopping along the way. The vibrant colours and hopeful enthusiasm permeating the air in view of the upcoming Diwali celebrations made the experience an unusually joyful one. It reminded me of a similarly enthused and blissful moments which I have enjoyed every year in India, before I came to Singapore. As such, I walked along the busy little road – my spirits lifted with the bustle of festivity and my mind engaged in nostalgic memories.
Imagine my surprise when I was rudely jolted out of my reverie by what initially seemed to be high pitched cackling-three different sounds merged together resembling a peacock’s call crossed with Chip's rapidly fast forwarded statements and Dale’s counter arguments.
Being an inherently calm, peace-loving person, I immediately turned around toward the origin of the horrific sounds and was astounded to find that it wasn’t a record gone bad, but a couple screaming their hearts out, waving their fists at each other, while a little girl in a pram was crying away to glory come, trying her level best to make them stop.
It was apparent that this was a married couple and the girl was their 3-4year old child. But the fact that she was getting agitated watching her parents argue viciously in the middle of the road, did not seem to make any difference to them. They just went on yelling at each other at what I could only perceive to be increasing decibel levels.
A few interested people did gather around to try and get a piece of the “entertainment”, which made the scene even more shameful, but thankfully, Singaporeans busy as they are, moved on with their lives to leave the arguing couple to themselves.
In the meanwhile, I stopped for a brief five minutes. Not for the entertainment, but it was something in the child’s face that made me stop in my tracks. She was of course crying and trying in her own way to make it stop, but what struck me most, was the look in her eyes. I saw panic there, I noticed a high degree of anxiety, but more than anything else, there was a pleading look in her eyes that everyone except her parents seemed to notice. They seemed oblivious to her pleas and just went on yelling at each other, until finally the lady threatened to leave them and go away. I would have expected the man to acquiesce and ask her to stay, but he just screamed at her and she turned around in a huff and walked away from them. The child cried agonisingly for her mother to come back, but the woman’s steps didn’t falter. She walked away in spite of everything.
At this juncture I was so horrified and disgusted with the whole thing, I myself turned around and left the scene. I am absolutely averse to negativity of any kind and I abhor such scenes of violent outbursts. So I left. But it left such a bitter taste, I decided to write about the ugly affair-something I normally would not do.
This message is to all you parents out there. There will always be differences of opinion. But they do not have to escalate to such levels. People can happily co-exist with individualised points of view. And if your views do clash, go some place quiet-away from the public glare and definitely not within sight or earshot of your children and then sort out your issues in a MATURE fashion. You are adults. And more importantly, YOU ARE PARENTS. Behave as such.
Remember that whatever you say and do and however you behave in front of your children, will have a long lasting effect on them-sometimes bound to last a lifetime. So become responsible and sort out your issues amicably.
Marriage is supposed to be a holy institution, wherein two souls journey on the path to spiritual enlightenment as ONE. Child rearing is even more of a spiritual act, because the responsibility of LEADING a soul towards GOD lies with you. And if you are not ready to handle this responsibility, do not take it on in the first place.
But also remember, that if the responsibility has come to you, it is only because God wanted it to be so, and as such, HE believes you are capable of handling it. So do it justice. Live spiritually and raise your children in a spiritually-permeated home environment. Teach them the RIGHT way to cruise through life. You see, they have only you.