During my brother’s surprise birthday party that had been planned by his own wife and children, I kept on thinking how sweet it is to be part of such gatherings despite the routine office and other types of work around me. As we chatted away on several topics, drinking and having a laugh I could not stop thinking about my emails on phone and answering several calls concerning work. My brothers, sisters and wife seemed used to me being in such a scenario of thinking about work all the time against family quality time. The kids were joyfully running and playing all-over the house and compound. I was just enjoying seeing the kids run up and down since more than 10 families were in attendance. I did not expect that something was just about to happen that would open my eyes and mind to reality.
My seven-year old daughter came running towards where the parents were seated to greet her aunt who had just arrived. The aunt opened her hands and gave her a big hug and greeted her in the native language. All parents waited to listen to the answer that would come from my daughter and it never came. This implied that she could not reciprocate the greeting to the aunt. The birthday boy of the day posed a question to the little girl that “ you mean you can’t speak your mother tongue language?” In a few seconds the little girl responded, “My dad never teaches me to speak my mother tongue language. What he does is always to go to work all the time, all the time, all the time. But when he is the head of the family and he is supposed to be teaching me”. The little girl said these words with a lot of anger in her and we could see it from her face and afterwards she went back to continue playing with other kids. My brother turned back to me and said today you got what you have always wanted to hear and I do hope you pick a lesson from it. Quietly I picked up my mood once again that had been sunk low by the little girl and I said to the parents, “ I now know that I have been living a disowned life and change has to start today”.
Sometimes parents think that working too hard to acquire all the wealth that is needed in the family is the most important against the family quality time. This was wrong because despite all what I gave to my family in terms of the wealth, the ipads for the kids, the funds for them to go to the cinema, zoo, holiday and so on, the family quality time could not be replaced.
- Many professionals work too hard to create the big corporations, to be the best CEOs and to accumulate as much wealth empire as possible. However, one thing that they fail to do is to make sure they create their own same shadow within the kids. There comes a time when all the wealth has been acquired, best corporation built but with non of the kids having the same traits of the parent to take forward what has been realised.
- How can we expect our kids to live in our legacy when we were not there when they are growing up to show them what they need to do to be like the parents?
- How can we expect the kids to take over the business developed by the parents when they have not been part of it, shown to love it, trained to secure it and grow it?
- How can you expect your kids to become the best CEOs without having taught them about the best CEO you were during the time they slept and dinned with you?
- Family is such a valuable asset to everyone and should never be neglected at all. The quality time with the family is so precious for training young ones, motivating them, nurturing them and act as a shock absorber for anything in one’s life. When there is danger, distress, trouble, stress, sickness and any other strain to the professional worker, it is the family that picks the pieces. It is also true that when there is happiness, joy and fulfilling the family should take the full credit too.
- Do not neglect quality family time because it that time that will enrich you and rejuvenate you to do more good at work.
- The kids learn a lot from parents and therefore they have a right to their classes from parents to determine their future. This should regularly be offered to them.
- If you want your kids to be like you “the super CEO or best parent”, then you need to teach them how to become one. Do not expect to do that when they are old and have taken different directions. Am sure they will simply say, “ We are not interested in your life style”. Who is to blame for disowning the family when they needed you? The time has come for you to own them but it is too late.
- Wealth and money cannot buy all what you need such as family, friends and the legacy you want. You just need to live that family life; friendly life and the legacy will automatically come to reign forever.
Power and Money are fruits of Life but Family and Friends are roots of Life; however we can manage without Fruits but can never stand without Roots.
Final message from what is written is that in life lets try not to live a disowned life against our families. The family needs you as my daughter reminded me of my major responsibility of being the family head. I need to work hard to change my role in my family. How about you?
“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” – Brad Henry
“We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out.”– Josh McDowell
Published by Prof. Jude T Lubega