The Bar­ri­ers to Love

Special Focus - - Contents - By Ya Sha­long

Ya Sha­long 押沙龙

Once when I was chat­ting with a friend over drinks, he talked about the scene of his fa­ther ly­ing on his deathbed. He told me that he wished his fa­ther would say to him, “I’m sorry for what I did when you were 20.” then he would re­ply to him by say­ing, “But I still love you, dad.” Un­for­tu­nately, this di­a­logue never hap­pened. The last thing he asked his fa­ther was if he had taken his med­i­ca­tions. I didn’t quite un­der­stand it at that time, so I said to him, “Since your fa­ther was dy­ing, why bother ask­ing for an apol­ogy from him?” He said he didn’t know ei­ther.

Not un­til a long time later did I un­der­stand how he felt. He isn’t a nar­row-minded per­son—he just wanted to let go of the past via that con­ver­sa­tion, so that his fa­ther’s im­age would be per­fect again in his heart. Although the fa­ther was prob­a­bly sorry for what he did, he found it hard to apol­o­gize. Although the son loved his fa­ther, he was sim­ply too shy to say it. Be­ing ret­i­cent doesn’t re­ally mat­ter, ad­mit­tedly, but it will leave you with a trou­bled mind for the rest of your life.

Some say Chi­nese peo­ple like to bury their love deep in their heart, and per­haps it is true. But, ret­i­cence will usu­ally gen­er­ate pain and a sense of es­trange­ment. Love needs to be ex­pressed in words, suf­fer­ing needs to be al­le­vi­ated by words, and mis­takes also need to be reme­died through words. Some­one who has never em­braced his dad in child­hood will find it hard to do so when his dad grows old. You might say, we don’t need to em­brace oth­ers to ex­press love, and words are also su­per­flu­ous if you re­ally love some­one—but that’s wrong. We need to em­brace our loved ones, and we al­ways do. In our life, mis­un­der­stand­ings may be un­avoid­able, but we can al­ways try to make them less painful. (From Ci­tyFi­nan­cialNews, March 22, 2017.Trans­la­tion:Zhu Yaguang)

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