This morning's straits times (26 Feb 2015) is about getting a new haircut and a new start. After his son, Jaycee Chan, spent 6 months in jail in China for sheltering drug users, Jackie Chan "flew to Taiwan for a quick reunion with his son" on the fifth day of CNY. He was promoting his movie Dragon Blade in Chengdu at that time.
It is reported that the "father and son had an all-night chat" and Jackie Chan said, "I haven't seen him for too long. I feel he's matured this time...We didn't talk about unhappy things. It was all family chat. We talked into the night and didn't sleep."
Lesson? Three short ones actually. Here goes…
1) They say you don't get to choose your parents. Well, neither do you get to choose your son (or daughter). They come to you as they are just as you are when they are born to you. A village chief was once asked by a tourist, "Are heroes born here?" and the reply was "No, only babies are born here." How true. Parents don't give birth to heroes just as a father don't get to shop for a perfect son. There is just no perfect birth (or a hero's birth). There is only a nurturing relationship that is perfecting itself along the way.
2) What counts is the time you spend with him. This is self-evident. Fatherhood is a priceless gift. It makes the difference. Fatherhood is like a home your son can always return to anytime he desires for unconditional love, affirmation and renewal. Fatherhood is therefore not a hobby. It is not a weekend sport. It is not a staycation where you only allocate portions of your time for a really good time once in a while. It is in fact a spiritual pilgrimage of a lifetime between the father and the son. The journey transforms both of them deeply. If a father really wants to mentor his son, start by assuring him that he will always be there for him, come what may, rain or shine.
3) It is never too late to nurture the father-and-son bond. The hair affair between Jackie Chan and his 32-year-old son taught me about the vulnerability of both of them. We are all flawed. And just like in a marriage, we need each other to complete us. Let me end with these enduring words from a father: "Last night my little boy confessed to me some childish wrong, and kneeling at my knee he prayed with tears: "Dear God, make me a man, like Daddy - wise and strong; I know you can." Then while he slept I knelt beside his bed confessed my sins and prayed with low-bowed head, "God, make me a child like my child here - pure, guileless, trusting thee with faith sincere, I know you can." Cheerz.