God is with us – Mayaro Lenten Youth Retreat 2023
March 23, 2023
What are we doing here?
March 23, 2023

A place of understanding

By Daniel Francis

One of the most heavily discussed topics in my different circles is the effect our upbringing has on us now. Especially within my male friend groups, we identify the similar traumatic experiences we had with our fathers and how that affects our everyday behaviours and personalities.

This article is not meant to bash fathers but to flip the script and apply empathy. It is extremely easy to think about these types of experiences and allow our feelings of anger and frustration to take over, but I want to challenge us all, especially men to take an empathetic and understanding approach.

The saying goes, “The apple does not fall far from the tree,” with good reason. It is no accident that we tend to adopt many characteristics from our parents. We take on some of the good and bad characteristics as much as we may fight the bad characteristics.

It is easy to remember that time when your father overreacted and came down on you so hard that the memory has cemented itself in your mind forever. You may even passively be inciting some present behaviour that you dislike because of that terrible experience.

But it is worth asking in those moments, “What did my father experience growing up that may have made him react that way in the first place?”

As is a fundamental point that I try to hammer home in most of my articles, we are all human therefore we all make mistakes. As difficult as it is to sometimes translate that fact onto our parents, we must do it.

They are human and they make mistakes. They experience the good and the bad that come with life. They had a past and dealt with trials and tribulations that shaped them into who they are/were.

I think about how the world is today and how drastically different it must have been when my parents were growing up. Honestly speaking, some things that are considered abuse today whether mental or physical were seen as routine back in those days.

When you take that angle and put yourself in the shoes of your parents, you would undoubtedly realise that their upbringing may have been harsh. Maybe their parents (your grandparents) had a physical almost violent approach to parenting. Again, not to call anyone out.

It was a different time, but this is the reality of how our parents may have been brought up. It is with these experiences in mind that they then raised us. One can only imagine the good and the bad experiences that they carry on their shoulders as a result.

One of the major life-changing moments in my life was when I stopped being angry with my parents over what I deemed bad treatment in the past and looked at everything through an empathetic lens. I realised that they were doing their best with what they had and with the baggage they carried.

No parent will ever raise their child perfectly. When you realise that fact it becomes your responsibility at that point to take responsibility for your present actions.

Despite the many excuses you may have based on your upbringing, you should realise that taking responsibility for yourself is fundamentally what it means to be a mature functioning adult.

Granted some parents have done the worst of things and I am not necessarily advocating for an exoneration of all past indiscretions, but what I am saying is to try to come from a place of understanding.

As a God-fearing person that is where you can at least start. You may draw a trend in how your parents were treated and how they treated you. With that trend, you may see the true underlying issues and start the road of understanding and healing.

Hate breeds more hate so break the cycle by converting hate to empathy and then love. Sounds like a path that God would want us to take, yes?

Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.

IG: rebitlimited

LinkedIn: Daniel Francis

Email: themillennialmind2020@gmail.com

Website: rebityouth.com