Couple of days ago, I was listening to one of my idols who you may guess is the incredible author of the Harry Potter novel series in one of her speeches. She said something that stroke my mind and reminded me of couple of things I would very much Love to share with you.
But, before that, here, “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you on the wrong direction. The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” J. K. Rowling, Havard University Commencement speech, June 5, 2008.
That’s the thing. For very long, our parents have been the perfect scapegoats for all our mistakes and failures. Very often, we blame them for the things that happen to us. We pretend that they made the wrong choices for us. Of course, to some extent, we are right about it.
But let’s not forget that most of them, do the best they can. They make choices taking into consideration what they’ve been taught and how they see the world. If you ask a parent why they make such choices for their kids, most of them will reply that that’s what they believe is good for the kids.
Are they wrong? Maybe. Maybe not. But, they think they are right because that’s their reality. And You can’t always blame them for that. You only give what you get. And that’s what they got. They see the world from their perspective and believe all they know is true. Well, we all do that. Most of us. One way of the other.
Yet, there’s one question that still remains. For how long do we have the right to blame our parents for what we believe are the wrong calls that they’ve made for us? Because most people tend to believe that it can last a lifetime and even more if possible. Right. I get it. We all need someone to blame for everything that goes wrong in our lives.
But as J. K. Rowling has said, there actually is an expiration date for that. Be not mistaken, I am not taking their side. I have a list of things I blame my human parents for. Well, things I used to blame them for. But over the years, I have come to understand that this cannot last for a lifetime. There has to be a stop at a given moment.
When I graduated for college about a decade ago, I had crazy dreams nobody was ready to pay for. I had to do with what I got. I was angry and sad. I wished I had been born in a different delimitation to different folks. Just because I thought it was not fair being born in a financially poor household.
I went to college with my own plans. I decided then to study something that was kind of close to one of my dreams. But I would keep blaming my parents for not being able to help me with my real dreams. Looking back, it was the best thing that could happen to me. The path was not easy, not at all but I needed it.
Of course most of the things that I know today, I had to learn them the hard way, I had my big share of mistakes and hardship but I’ve had the freedom to be. The freedom to choose my path. the freedom to embrace my belief system as opposed to what my parents wanted so fiercely to make me believe.
As years passed by, my old man remained the sole person on the list of people to blame because he wouldn’t take responsibility for much as opposed to his wife who in the meantime has upleveled a lot. I kept blaming him, not for me anymore because I had fought my way from hells but rather because of the way he kept treating my siblings.
Then I came to understand that the man wouldn’t change, neither for me, nor for them. And the worse part of all this is the fact that he’s made it clear that the refusal to follow his belief system is an art of war.
Yet, I reached my expiration date for blaming him for anything because over the years, I came to understand that I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul just like William Ernest Henley has said it in Invictus.
Today, I embrace full responsibility for my life, my mistakes, my dreams and everything else I am involved in because I know that that’s the only way to grow and to uplevel. I had to kill the boy they wanted to own the right to be. I guess that’s probably why my Mamma used to say, “I just wanted a boy but instead I got you.”
Have you already reached your expiration date for blaming your parents? If not, are you working on yourself, to reach that level? Share your experience in the comment section and let us know about your story.
Paterne Freeman Shadowriter, Liberscribes
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