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Love for Parents: 101 Lesson Taught By a Baby Elephant

Beating a parent, calling him or her names or any disrespectable behavior has lasting consequences.

While attending the University of Wyoming, I was shocked by a co-worker who bragged about how she had fought with her mother. It was after lunch and without shame she talked about how she shoved and closed her poor mother into a closet.

Since then I have seen parents treated as if they were a pestilence that needs to be avoided or eliminated. A few years ago I worked with a man in his 50?s who spoke the harshest words about his mother I have ever heard. He had heaped grievances and nothing good to say about his mother.

For years my soul has labored to understand why someone, with a clear mind, would mistreat their parent. Every time I think of it, my mind goes back to a story about a baby elephant we can all learn from the value of a parent.

?One day villagers heard some noise and rushed to find out what was wrong. Cattle rustling was rampant and any noise could be the onset for searching and following the rustlers. But, this day the villagers found an elephant that had been poached. Poachers used to shoot the elephant with the largest tusks. Sometimes the victim was the matriarch, the leader of the herd. This time the victim was a nursing mother whose baby stood just few yards from where his dead mother laid.

Elephants were considered sacred and when hunted, it was mainly for traditional rituals. However, when poachers left tusk-less elephant bodies, villagers would share the meat. The baby elephant watched as villagers discussed how they were to share their unexpected fortune. The last person picked his portion, bagged and headed home only to turn and see the baby elephant following him. She wanted to see with the last piece of her mother. The baby was later presented to anti-poaching unit?but not before ?teaching the world of the value of a mother.?

I was brought up knowing that to be cursed (not just being called names) by parents is the worst thing to happen to anyone besides death. As I grew up I witnessed the effects of curse on individual?s lives and their families. Parental curse brings lack of peace, and social problems. Curse causes a chain reaction; leading your children to treat you in the same manner you?ve treated your own parents.

I must have been seven or eight when one of my great uncles, under the influence of alcohol and possibly Cannabis Sativa (marijuana), burned his parent's hut. My great grandparents were far advanced in age - they never even knew which child had done it. They were rescued and the other sons arrested their brother and handed him over to police. He was convicted and sentenced.

Later, as my great grandfather was taking beer while warming himself from a nearby fire, he recounted the events of that night. He then took a burning wood and poured his beer on it until it was extinguished as he said, "Thayu wa ila mwana umbivisyi nyumba woo simika ta kisinga kii,)" meaning "May the life of the child who burnt my hut be extinguished as this burning piece of wood."

That uncle's life was never the same again. He lived a very miserable life before dying in prison.

The first three of the Ten Commandments deal with honoring God. The fourth commandment is ?Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long?" (Exodus 20:12). Thus honoring parents is not a suggestion. This does not mean parents and children have to always agree. Honor, however, can always be given to parents.

There are parents who are abusive. Getting away from them to protect yourself is not dishonoring ? it prevents getting into a dual.

We can never fathom the joy, peace and fulfillment God showers on the paths of those who honor their parents.

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