‘Honor Thy Father and Mother’: Ignore at Your Peril

Published on April 28, 2013

They search continually for a self they would never recognize because they can’t see themselves anymore. Or they know too well who stares back at them from the mirror in the morning and they cannot stand that person. One could feel some pity for these people who abandoned the values and morals they were raised to believe in; but when one reaches a certain age one realizes that there are some people who suck the very soul from everyone around them, and trying to help them is the ultimate expression of futility. One could do better by making life easier for the elderly, reaching out to those that could share with them the wisdom they accumulated over the decades and maybe providing to an elderly veteran and his wife a family they no longer really have.

I want to tell this woman, “That is your Dad. He’s a decorated veteran. Instead of behaving so viciously why not embrace the limited time with your Dad and hear his stories, do your daughter’s duty and honor him? This is the house you grew up in. Think of the memories? Think of times your parents were there for you? Doesn’t any of that mean anything?”

It is funny but in looking back at some of the things I have seen in my own past I realize that those questions would be meaningless to certain people because the idea of honoring ones parents means nothing to them.

We know that people ultimately pay the price for their hubris. It might be in overwhelming guilt for their cruelty with which they have treated their parents. It might be in the hereafter. But people who have committed heinous sins against people they should love and respect do find justice. That is the cold unvarnished truth.

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What we are witnessing in this sad story is a Greek Tragedy played out in 2013 USA. It has all the hubris, greed, and like a Greek Tragedy, it will end badly. Not just for Mr. Potter. It will end worse for his daughter and she’s too wrapped up in herself and what she wants to realize that. I feel no pity for her and her husband. What comes ’round goes ’round.

I do feel a terrible sadness that her father, a WWII hero who is sick, is being treated like a criminal by his daughter. The only criminal I can identify here is Ms. Cotrill. “Honor Thy Father and Mother” isn’t a suggestion, as the saying goes, and one would do one a big favor by abiding by that five word commandment.

Image: John Potter; courtesy of Jaclyn Fraley; “World War II Vet John Potter, 91, Faces Eviction by Daughter”; realestate.aol.com

get-attachment (3)Stephanie Janiczek is a former Capitol Hill Staff Assistant, Schedule C Appointee and Leadership Institute alum. Military Wife, Hunter, Horse enthusiast, dog owner, writer and feminist kryptonite.

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