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By: Ampadu Marfo (Snoop)

Family they say is like a forest. when you are far from one, all the trees are beautifully together but when you walk in you realise each is on it’s own. From afar people seem to have wonderful lives, amazing experiences and happiness that could never be matched but is it entirely true?

I bet you get people to tell you how lucky you are to have your family and how straight your path in life looks so you have no problem. Sometimes it gets to the level that others think your only headache, what keeps you awake at night is choosing what to wear from your 1000 outfits or settling on which food to eat because your dinning table is full and you have no space for a glass of water.

People really think you’re the most peaceful person and you barely experience the usual painful knocks of life. Are they right? As a young Ghanaian boy, I haven’t seen a lot in my lifetime but I have the conviction that a perfect family does not exist. This is because, individually, we’re all driven by our personal ambitions, wishes, and dreams which cannot be thoroughly achieved without an iota of selfishness.

Our siblings, the Aunties we like so much, the cousin we cannot be separated from, the woman we call our mother or the father whose love we almost feel inspired by and love so much all have their personal ambitions as far as our positions in their lives are concerned. Those ambitions may include seeing you succeed but have you asked yourself if the success he or she wants for you is particularly the kind that will make you fulfilled.

Some people perceive marriage as success or owning a car, having children, inheriting a property, getting yourself a house or car, becoming wealthy in financial terms and many more. Which o these definition of success is your choice and in case you want something entirely different from what they want you to be, do you believe your family supports your choice of success? It’s a question you have to answer for yourself.

Interestingly, most families if I am not exaggerating have such one person who has either “weird” ambitions, or seen as the black sheep. It could be in either extended family or nuclear, wherever it is, but why must it be so? Does being in a family negate our independence and individual desires? Do we cease to have the right to have our own different ambition and purpose outside the family bond? I mean, why must my choice of success change me into something else in the eyes of my own blood (even monstrously)?

Ironically, those parents who persist on changing the visions of family members sometimes end up destroying their lives. There are a whole lot of students in our Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions who are failing woefully in their fields of study because they were coerced to choose the courses by their parents!

Others have successfully passed what they were forced to choose but are unhappy in their jobs and life in general. Some parents are still standing up against the marriage of their children because the person brought home someone from a tribe they despise. Adults are using their children to achieve their personal heights they couldn’t attain which is totally wrong.

The truth is that, giving birth to a child is not enough. It does not give you complete authority to move your children about like pieces on a chess board. Feeding your children is not the best you can do. Clothing them is a basic responsibility.

It is about time parents learn to support their children and provide moral support for them as they aspire to greater heights. It is not too late for parents to free their children to explore life, allowing them to make mistake and give them the opportunity to try something new.

To make them understand that it is not enough to only eat and have a bed to sleep on but rather it is okay to leave the house to make money the right way, make others happy, pursue their dreams and so on. The responsibility of having children includes inculcating morals in them, empowering them to overcome obstacles and grow to become humans for the society.
A parent must never bottle the dream of an offspring for selfish reasons. These are some of the major causes of untold tension between some children and their parents. If blood cannot stick us together and selfishness rather dominates, then what is the essence of the titles “child”, “mother” and “father”? If you decide to have a son and daughter someday, be sure to put their happiness first for it is your responsibility to make them feel alive not to use them to feel good or for your personal gain. Be good!!!

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