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To my father---as tough as an authoritarian as he was, he planted the seeds for this work. Did he know what he was doing?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Holes in the umbrella


It was my father’s umbrella.  It served him well at the time; many, many years ago.  The claim was that it would protect him from the elements and provide security for him. It provided comfort.  But along the way they started making newer ones.  The new ones worked a little better.  It was also exposed that there were holes in the fabric of his umbrella; rendering the structure weaker than originally thought.  And as time passed, it was revealed that his umbrella didn’t really work in light of the latest discoveries.  His umbrella became outdated, not serving the purpose as originally intended.  It became noticeable that because of these holes and weaknesses, its original function was not being performed.  It couldn’t withstand the winds, couldn’t provide the protection as originally intended.  On the contrary, it was taking more servicing than it was giving.  As a matter of fact, the original construction was obsolete based on modern accounts, but nevertheless it was hard to let go; because it was my father’s.  We now have modern technology explaining why this umbrella is failing yet I just find it hard to let go; dragging around this useless, nonfunctional, baggage leaves me perplexed. 

Why do I do it?  Perhaps because he might have said at one time that it was so special to him that I would feel guilty if I discarded it?  It was my father’s, he knew everything. Or so I thought. Yet I don’t consult him when I buy a new car or the latest cell phone.  And yes, the original company is still in existence and they keep calling to see if their umbrella still works.  I just don’t know how to tell them due to the latest discoveries there might be something better.  I don’t know how to tell my father for fear of hurting his feelings in spite of knowing that this umbrella is now doing more damage than it’s worth.  It has holes.  So why do I resist in finding a replacement?  Why am I not confident enough to discard the old one?  And will I do the same to my children?  Will I pass down this same umbrella with holes and tell them, for fear of some reprisal, that they shouldn’t get something more useful?  I should tell them, in spite of its failings, that they must defend its integrity; when it has none? 

And I’m not alone with this predicament.  I find others with the same dilemma and we’re afraid to compare notes for fear of disloyalty to the product---even though we don’t get any more miles or points.  And again, on the contrary, I find myself defending the necessity of carrying around an umbrella with holes.  For fear that I would be considered an outcast by the group or worse yet, a defector?  All with the understanding that people are getting wet because of false impressions and warranties of protection. 

I will admit something though.  When my father first got his umbrella, he was told that if he faithfully held onto this umbrella, someday he would go to a place and live for eternity.  That’s some claim, huh?  Was my father THAT impressionable?  Did they also tell him that regardless of newer technology he was still bound to believe in the company otherwise he couldn’t go to that place? It was like some sort of spell that his father passed on down to him and so on.   And that perhaps I wouldn’t be allowed to go to that place either; was he trying to protect me and he didn’t want me to throw away that special, albeit, leaky umbrella with holes?  Now that I’ve had a chance to think about this, why should I be part of this blind faith; and worse yet, bind my children without their knowledge or choice?  I mean, if I saw this same umbrella for the first time today, would I believe in it?  Reminds me of those chain letters I used to get but finally one day I didn’t respond?  And you know, I didn’t feel the worse off for it.  Hmmmm.

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1 comment:

  1. I can relate to this post about sentimental value. I do not discard items if they are no longer valuable. It is because that they mean a lot to me.
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    ReplyDelete