when I couldn't be the man he wanted me to be.
Staying home was always a bitter experience. In my dad's presence, it was a time to look both sides, stay focused and alert because any loosening and relaxation would always win me a slap and bitter scorching. And in my mum's presence it was a time to relax and feel free from anything and everything in life..mum never held me accountable for anything.
I feel faulted every single minute of my life and I always want to be free but it never seems to happen.
Dad always wanted me to be a better man...to simply or rather furiously imitate the dress code of those other guys he saw across the streets, guys who wore blazers and neatly ironed shirts and on the contrary, I was ever clad in T-shirts and wash and wear garments.
The boys across the streets seemed well groomed and ready for life in his perception and I seemed un bothered and not caring about tomorrow.
I think his positive values about me were hanging on lightly, he seemed to have some un withering belief that I would somehow someday make the man he wanted...so he kept financing me through my dreadful and stained education career until today when I can relentlessly and with less effort type this memoir from my memory. His opinions about me were divided and at some point i used to think my birth was a burden to him.
Inwardly I have always thought of myself as a better man though I was down in a deep hole of depression, thinking often at times that I have no talent to foster and lost in a world of negative energy that never let me be. They say nature teaches the hard way and it really does. When people force you to quit some habits , initially its really hard but you later realise by hard heavy knocks that you have to find a back up plan on your own and quit.
Yet many times when I compare myself to my other siblings and his daily approach to all of us, I realise some are scotched, cautioned and rebuked way more than me.
So at some point I realise that it was entirely his obligation turn a blind eye to my good deeds and look to the other side so I would be a better man through his tireless effort.
His prayer was always that God makes me a better son, something that rhymes with this from General Douglas Mac Arthur, I quote;
" Father’s Prayer
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humour, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.” end of quote.
Douglas was of course a soldier by profession and my dad is a rancher but somehow these guys had binding prayers and wishes for their kids.
A prayer out of much grace and love and in retrospect, when I couldn't be the man he wanted me to be, at least am making sure I'm a better man wherever I go and whatever I do because I aspire to be.