Father Forgets (W. Larned) i zašto nije dobro kritizirati

Ovaj vikend jesen je pokazala svoje oštre zube, kiša i vjetar, općenito vrijeme tumorno. Iako mi ne ide u glavu kako do sada nisam nabasao na ovaj klasik američke književnosti, vjerujem da bi tako i ostalo da nije bilo te proklete jeseni. Superstitious much?

Izbjegava me odgovor na pitanje zašto ova pjesma nije obavezno školsko štivo. Ova pjesma, koja govori o važnosti ljudskih odnosa, o nevinosti djetinjstva i nesvjesnosti odraslih, a ponajviše roditelja, ne samo da bi trebala biti obavezno školsko štivo, već svakoga općenito.

Prije svega, ispod su riječi Father Forgets (W. Livingston Larned) pjesme:

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive‐and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither.

And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me?

The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding‐this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy‐a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

Čitajući ovu pjesmu vjerojatno ste se sjetili kako ste se ponašali krivo u nekim (od spomenutih) situacija i to je sasvim uredu. Zašto, pitate se? Ljudi smo, griješimo i iako je to sasvim valjan izgovor, ne znači da ne možemo bolje.

Bilo tko može kritizirati i žaliti se, a većina ljudi to i radi jer je lakše nego alternativa, ali potrebno je mnogo više samokontrole i snage karaktera za razumijevanje. Ne mislim stajati na visokoj stepenici i kroz ovaj tekst kritizirati druge kad sam i sam kriv po pitanju kritiziranja i osuđivanja drugih. Sigurno znate nekoga koga biste silno željeli promijeniti i “poboljšati”. Promjena je OK, ali prvo treba početi sa samim sobom, a tek onda krenuti s drugima. Ako se gleda iz stajališta sebičnosti, puno je isplativije s bilo kakvom promjenom, a i kritikom, početi od samog sebe.

Ipak, sve to fino i krasno izgleda u teoriji, no teoriju je lakše utvrđivati nego provoditi. Baš u tome trenutku volim se prisjetiti markantne Konfucijeve izjave:

Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.

It just makes sense.


 

Ovim riječima završavam svoj pedeseti članak. Iako mi je trebalo nešto više od dvije godine da napišem taj izvjestan broj članaka (prokrastinacije radi, je l’), trudio sam se u svaki  uvesti što više osobnih osvrta na temu, što mi je manje-više polazilo za rukom, bilo da se radilo o prijevodima izvornih članaka ili vlastitih proizvoda razmišljanja. Ako išta mogu izvući iz ovog dvogodišnjeg udaranja po tastaturi jest da sam bogatiji za jedno zanimljivo iskustvo bloganja i javnog dijeljenja svojeg mišljenja, a nije niti na odmet da sam se naučio kvalitetnije izražavati. Here’s to many more blog posts! :)