Using the example of farming for fruit, it doesn't matter how much water/ fertilizer a farmer gives the plant, without adequate sunshine (= inculcation/ 'light'- see following) the plant will never fruit, if ever it even properly grows.
That said, a child's neglect for his / her parent could be simply have been due to a parent's inadequate inculcation ('light'- pls see above) of values in the child such that the child, having had little guidance in his/ her growing years, now fails to understand the need to care adequately for his/ her parents, having received previously only a superficial show of affection.
The 'slogging' of the parent could be born out of social pressures/ norms- eg. many Singaporeans both of today and yesteryear strive for the 5Cs- Car, Cash, Condo, Club, Credit cards (in no particular order). Following such social norms, the parents likewise strive to achieve these particular status symbols; their children enjoying a materialistically good life being merely consequence of the parents abundant/ obscene salaries.
Do note that more often then not, health, the environment, others welfare isn't included amongst the 5Cs- (e.g. the Country club is for amusement, showing off and use of the jack pot room lah- ditto the other C's).
The parents might be well paid employees, whose job scopes either demand little concern about global affairs, or preclude them from such concerns: e.g. employees of BP might be too 'busy'/ disadvantaged should they raise 'unprofitable' issues such as related to 'global warming', oil spills from 1km below sea level etc, making their hearts too hard to adapt with the changing times.
In this fast paced world of constant change, many issues compete with a person's ability to provide for one's parents. Whilst the child might have been fortunate to have been brought up in a materially adequate household, his perspective of his status within the parent's hierarchy of priorities might have been only the sixth C- 'Child'. His being provided adequately attributable mostly to the coincident expanse of his parents salaries, themselves having fulfilled adequately their preceding 5 desires/ priorities, the neglect of his emotions and concerns notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, due to changing circumstances, that child is now unable to draw a similarly generous salary. Holding sacred the same hierarchy of priorities he was brought up with, his parents remain ranked 6th- after the car, condo, card, cash, club.
The child too might have kids of his own and thus unable to cope with the demands of a demanding spouse, bills etc etc. Without a sustained emotional bond, the child is unable to empathize with the needs of the elderly (nor most other persons for that matter). Though his expense on his parents as a proportion of his full salary might be equal to what he received (e.g. 10%), this becomes grossly insufficient due to the diminished nature of his drawn salary and the high medical/ upkeep costs incurred by a grumpy, sick elderly- as such, a rethink of the family's priorities and finances is dire indeed.
So it is the plight of the pitiful old who squandered their early fortunes upon the 5Cs, only to receive relatively little from a child no less 'filial' (in reference to his/ her particular upbringing)- just a sorry 'family misfortune' that their child now earns less then what his/ her parents earned before/ expect to earn.
So is the plight of the average Singaporean,
I don't know, U tell me.
That said, I still stand by my earlier post [link] that the NFC 'filial piety' ad is misinforming in its omission of the fact that dementia is a disease and "is NOT part of normal aging"~ Video 'Going Home' [video excerpt]. NFC if not confident of producing a 3generation ad, ought to take a leaf from the 2 generation ad of 'Petronas': Rich son poor son: "Love of the family is life's greatest blessing"[video]- sweet and simple wins the day.
- [Singapore Polytechnic 2009]: "Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and is NOT part of normal aging."~ [video]: 'Going Home' - Award: First Prize; Produced by Kirill Tee, Directed by Vinn Bay.
- [Petronas CNY2006]: 'Rich son poor son': "Love of the family is life's greatest blessing"[video(English subtitles)]
- SG National Family Council's Family campaign 2010: 'Filial Piety: Father and Son' [video]
- [ST5July2010]: Educate people about filial piety, don't demand it [link]
- [ST23Jun2010]: Does ad convey right values? [link]
Reflected in/ posted to:
29072010: Re: Exerting Filial Piety???? Parents do your part first
14072010: NFC ad 'Filial Piety: Father and Son'-Video- just cannot make it.
07072010 : Filial piety – or sending the wrong message?
29072010: (Forum News) Teach filial piety in school, not on TV
07072010: Home » Our Common Space » Filial piety