One of the toughest conversations we all experience is probably those we have with our parents. Trying to explain your position whether as a parent or a child is never an easy thing. In making our case, more often than not, we tend to look at the other as an extension of ourselves instead of as a unique individual of their own.
The song ‘Father and Son’ by Cat Stevens captured the conversation between a father and a son and it’s truly relatable and on point. Stevens created a masterpiece in 1970 when he released this song on his album Tea for the Tillerman.
He wrote the piece to mirror the voices of both father and son, having the rifts change between the two. Here are lines that really struck a chord with me.
“I was once like you are now and I know that it’s not easy, to be calm, when you found something going on.”
This was said by the father after explaining how the son is still young and needs to take things easy. He explained, before this line how he’s old but happy implying that he’s content with his life experiences and decisions. No regrets on his part. To the father, the joy in life comes from the simple things.
The father continues to tell the son that he was once exactly in the same position. It’s his way of saying that he understands and the son’s time will come.
“But take your time, think a lot. Why think of everything you got, for you will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not”
Patience. That was the main message from the father. Think about life and all it has to offer. Being young, we get a little hasty and yes, there are times that we just dive into things. But, learning to make the right move at the right time can be beneficial too.
When Jonathan Kent told Clark to calm down in the Man of Steel before finally revealing to the world what he can do, it wasn’t to put him down but rather to teach him patience.
“How can I try to explain? When I do, he turns away again. It’s always been the same, same old story.”
I bet a lot of us can relate to this. We feel the exact same way when we speak to our parents. If we kept notes, we could actually refer and track back the same points that are kept being used by them for certain subjects over and over again….
But, what I really love about this line is that you can hear an honest plea from a son trying to explain himself but how could he, not when the next line goes like….
“From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen.”
Children are always meant to only listen, absorb and obey. It gets frustrating. You’re constantly told how you don’t know anything and then, one day the world expects you to know everything there is to know.
A lot of people I know who are making the transition to adulthood are having trouble even making the simplest decisions, just because we’re so used to having everything decided for us.
“Now there’s a way, and I know, that I have to go away.”
At a certain age, every child will feel that he or she is ready and would naturally want to leave the nest. Get out of the small town, and see the world.
“All the times, that I’ve cried. Keeping all the things I knew inside, it’s hard but it’s harder to ignore it.”
How many children do we know that have swallowed their pride and do exactly what is expected of them by their parents?
The son at this point is explaining that even if he did his best to be what his father expects of him, at the end of the day, he needs to be himself and not a carbon copy of the father.
“If they were right, I agree. But it’s them you know not me. Now there’s a way and I know, I have to go away.”
Here, he adds that yes, all the things that his father has told him are probably right and in no way are they wrong or without wisdom. But, those are his father’s way and not necessarily his. The rift ends with the son deciding to leave, for he feels it’s the only way he can grow.
Father and Son
So, who was right and who was wrong?
To me, neither one was. It was tough for both of them to explain themselves and understand one another. They both had their own reasons and arguments. Both Father and Son just needed to learn to love, respect and most importantly, trust the other.