global day of parents
Valentine’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, this day, that day… so many days we keep hearing about that it’s virtually become impossible to keep on top of all of them. But hey, why Parents’ Day? We already have Mothers’ and Fathers’ days. So why does UN, in its infinite wisdom, decided to designate a day for parents specifically? If you think hard, there is a reason behind it. Moms do their stuff and dads do theirs. Together, they are the building blocks of their family. Celebrating them individually is great, but celebrating them together is an acknowledgement of their selfless devotion as a team. So, June 1st has been designated as ‘Global Day of Parents’ by the United Nations. For both parents, and for those, of course, who have to raise their offspring as single parents.
Some prominent professionals share with You! the impact their parents have on their lives...
Sarwat Gillani reminisces on the best gift from her parents and says, “All children feel that their parents are the best! They idealise their parents and I did thattoo. My father gave me some very good values that I work with every day, that I feel in my heart and keep in my mind always. These values make me a better person. With my mother, I felt it was always about having a big heart, and doing charity.
But I must say that their best gift to me was the gift of communication. They communicated with me like an adult, but did not expect me to react like one. So, I do the same with my children. I talk to them like adults but don’t expect them to behave like adults! Communication, I believe, is the best tool that you can give to your children because when you communicate well with your child it really makes things easy for them and makes them realise a lot of things. Effective communication with children helps them to feel confident about themselves and the relationship that you have with them. So, communication is the best gift that you can give to your child, which I got from my parents, and my children, in turn, get from me.”
Hira and Mani, a well-known couple of the media industry, spoke about their parents with love and respect. “My parents are my inspiration! From teaching me how to talk to giving me education, they moulded every aspect of my personality,” says Hira Mani. Mani chimes in, “My parents are my inspiration, too. You know, as kids we follow our parents’ lead in everything unquestioningly. Even when we don’t want to do what they ask of us, we do it out of habit. We can’t ignore their impact on our lives.”
“Basically, because we mirror their traits and personality,” offers Hira. “We share their genes… they are our first teachers, tutors.They are the ones who shield us from all bad things, though we hurt them at times. One thing is for certain: we are zilch without them,” adds Mani.
Shanaz Ramzi is a renowned journalist, author and a brilliant chef. With visible pride in her parents, she shares, “My parents define who I am today - they gave me all my values, and taught me by example. I inherited my mom’s workaholism as she could never sit still for a minute without doing something, and my father’s love for reading and writing! If they hadn’t given me all they did, my life would have turned out very different, and so I owe them everything! May they rest in heavenly peace! Ameen!”
Actor and model Hira Tareen’s heartfelt words about her parents,“My parents, to me, have always been my pillar of strength, my best friends and my guiding light. They dedicated their lives to raising us with good values and a strong moral compass, and most of all the gift of knowledge and awareness on so many levels. And, I feel that the only way to repay them is to show them my happiness. They are truly my idea of unconditional love.”
Educationist and interior designer, Annie Shehzad Saleem’s moving tribute to her parents…“My parents have influenced every action performed by me, every word uttered by me, every thought that has occurred to me and every idea conceived by me.
This influence was not a result of their direct words, advice or instructions to me; rather, this was brought about by the lives they lived. They have been role models throughout and have enabled me to see what living to standards of human excellence is all about. My mother, not only a critical thinker, but a keen doer and my father, a humble and loving, high-performing individual have together influenced the life that I am living. Even if I live up to 10 percent of their life achievements, I will have lived a full life. May my impact on my children be the same. God bless my parents, always.”
Huma Adnan, entrepreneur and FNKAsia’s Creative Director speaks about her mother’s impact on her life.“I belong to a single parent household and my mom raised me and my two siblings. She is a very strong women with a heart of gold. She has raised me like a lioness, and what I am today is because of her. Her upbringing as a single mom has impacted me in my professional and personal life.”
Learning to be a parent herself, she shares, “From my mother, I have learned a lot about parenting and therefore, to my kids, I am more like a friend. My mother made me realise that it’s very important for parents to respect their children’s opinions and try to be on the same wavelength as them. Kids these days have way too many issues and most of it is anxiety related.
My husband, Amir Adnan, and I are very relaxed parents and only interfere when our children need our guidance. Our parents gave us space and allowed us to follow our dreams, and since children learn what they live, we do the same.My mother supported me, guided me, and taught me right from wrong. Her appreciation gave me confidence and the drive to do accomplish my goals. So, as a parent, I do the same.”
“It is said that copying someone is the greatest compliment you can give them. I emulate my mother’s example. Just as she listened to me, I listen to my children and discuss everything that is important for them. I let my children explore life in their own way within reasonable means. This helps their personal character building and allows them to be independent,” tells Huma.
Actor, former anchor and journalist Adnan Jaffar put in his two cents …
“Most importantly, my parents taught me to stay focused. To have a skill, and excel at it. They impressed on me that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone - just to yourself.
I was trained to control my anger, due to whatever reason. Because it amounts to nothing in the large scheme of goals, and is just a distraction from focus. Apart from this, my parents have always been about compassion, helping out others with little gestures, giving a sense of support. It feels like the luckiest son ever when parents back you up, and encourage you!”
Furniture Designer Beena Asim laments the loss of her father…
“Parents… can you imagine your life without them?
“They are totally selfless and sincere. They only want the best for us. I was always closer to my father, and could share everything with him. I lost him to cancer over two years back. He was my best friend. He fought the battle with cancer for two and a half years. Two months before he passed away, my work load increased a lot and I was not able to visit him often. I feel guilty and still blame myself for it. So, see your parents as often as you can.”
Mrs K is a teacher. She speaks about how parents protect their offspring. “I am a teacher, and my school, The Mama School, is housed in a building that is over 90 years old. Some very old trees guard the school premises, and they are home to birds of different kinds. Once, in my free time, I was watching an eagle in its nest, feeding its young ones, through a classroom window on the second floor. Some instinct made this eagle realise it was being watched. It flew at me so fast that I just managed to bang the window shut before the protective mother eagle banged against it! The mother eagle was protecting its eaglets, and tried to attack me as it thought I was a threat to its young nestlings! Protect their children. That’s what parents do. This is something only they can do. I felt somehow protected while my parents were alive, though I have grown-up kids of my own. I knew they would be there for me, come what may. I only wish I could give them time when they needed me. I was so busy with my own life that I was unable to be there for them when they needed me.”
We all love our parents, right? But honouring them on a specific day shows them how much we care. It can bring home the fact that we do care; it’s just that life happens. We get too busy to talk to them even when living in the same house, because we have kids of our own… This is a cycle – a vicious circle, really. Parents love their children to bits. And, their children do exactly the same, to the extent of putting their children before their parents, if need be. The thing is that when we finally have time, we don’t always have parents.
Cherish your parents while they live; they won’t be with you forever.