JOHN VIANNEY AHUMUZA
Recently a friend of mine explained to me a dilemma his family friend is experiencing in Katanga Zone near Makerere University. A certain lady lost her husband, at a time when the majority of her siblings were young. However, she managed to educate all her children, as well as her siblings, up to Makerere University.
The lady was also an employee of the same university. However none of her siblings and children ever associated with her because they considered her station in life lower than theirs. Irrespective of this, she remained committed to educating her siblings.
When one of her daughters completed her degree she was employed in Wandegeya but refused to stay with her mother at their home in Katanga. She opted to rent an apartment in Muyenga at Shs500, 000 monthly. The daughter was ashamed of staying with an aged parent.
This experience is not uncommon in our society today. The fifth commandment reminds us of the role we have in respecting our parents. Parents are God’s representatives on earth.
In fact the Bible tells us that the reward for respecting parents will be long life.
I am always humbled by Jesus’ character towards his father. The gospel accounts clearly tell us how Jesus respected his parents on earth, and in the final journey of the passion of the cross and specifically the last moments on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” This reveals the special relationship Jesus had with the father.
At UCU we aim at developing students’ critical thinking through offering them a complete education.
This implies that graduation does not mean the end of the closeness between students and their parents.
It is ideal for parents to allow their children, upon graduation, to stay at home for accommodation and other needs in the transition to employment.
Similarly, it is the duty of the graduates to develop their homes and take them to greater heights. So the children, instead of focusing on keeping up appearances, should ask: where will our families be 50 years from now?
In responding to the above question, for instance, one will discover that it is irrational to rent a house at Shs1 million in a radius of less than a kilometre from one’s ancestral home yet the same amount of money could be used to improve the home.
And the free advice that you give to landlords on how best they can beautify their rentals can be applied to your family home.
This is what distinguishes knowledge from wisdom.
Let us empower our children to work harder and keep close to their families even upon graduation. Let us make them part of home businesses.
As for the graduates, let us be the salt and light of the world.
The writer is a lecturer at Foundations Studies Department