Is it love or obligation?

- Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

Resigning one’s self into the senior years with the hope the children will be successful, offer you a lifetime of unending allowances, and all the while living off the retirement fund and buying a few lotto tickets on a regular basis hoping that you will hit the jackpot, is an exercise in futility.

I have met so many people in their senior years in the course of my business. They are excited with life and are optimistic with the future.

They have had years of accumulated experiences and wisdom, but they feel like there are still so many things they want to learn more about. They are extremely productive.

I have a confession to make.

I am now enjoying my 20 percent VAT free discount card that awards me dual citizenship, both “Filipino” and “Senior” category, and for some reason, I feel a tinge of guilt this early in life. I feel like I am taking advantage over a wonderful system that seeks to aid those who cannot cope with the challenges of being a senior citizen. I am healthy and still very productive.

The Ilocana and I watch carefully what goes into our mouths. We make sure we don’t sit on chairs for hours. We move. We exercise. We tell ourselves we want to be productive up to our last breath for as long as God finds us fruitful.

Age today is no longer just demographics, it is also psychographics. Many people in their late 50’s and way into their late 60’s simply refuse to grow old. They are healthier, sharper, more mentally alert and more excited with life.

These are the people I love to hang out with. They are not stingy with their life lessons and are full of wisdom as well.

But then again there are the miserable old-timers…They are way into their senior years with nothing good to say. They always complain about how life has treated them unfairly, how their children have grown up to be ingrates, and their main hobby in life is to complain about their illnesses and diseases.

They seem to harbor the secret desire that in constantly harping about their misfortune, others would catch it too and understand them better. The miserable ones love company and they sure are good in recruiting members.

Our responsibility as parents is to provide for our young. Our responsibility to ourselves is to save up for our senior years.

My responsibility to my parents is to honor and love them and this act should not be out of a sense of “obligation,” but out of a sense of love.

I’ve taken care of my mother since my father passed away. She’s been living with me for a few years now. I take care of her not because I am obligated to, but because of the love I have for her.

Love is beyond mere feelings and emotions.

Love for me means obeying The Word of God and love The God of the Word. This results to a healthy sense of obedience to His command. Had this been an obligation on my part then I would have set rules.

Do you think it would be right for me to demand that she only use four hours of air-condition time during summer and not to use it at all during the colder months? Do you think it would be proper for me to say that she is not allowed to eat more than three meals and two snacks in between every day unless she has my written approval? These are all obligations, right? I take care of her because I love her, and love deals with unconditional affections.

Do not force kids to grow up and be obligated to provide for you in your senior years. Love them. Show your love and they will know how to respond in return.

Parents are to provide for their children. Children are to honor and love their parents. That’s what the Scriptures say.

This brings me to one more thing… Be productive and refuse to grow old broke.

(Send your leaders. Bring your key people. Attend and experience two inspiring days with Francis Kong learning leadership and life skills in his widely acclaimed Level Up Leadership March 16-17 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries contact Inspire at 09158055910 or call 632-6310912 or 6310660 for details.)













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