The Barriers to Love
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)