Everyone loves a wedding

Posted on: 09 August 2010 by Editor at Large

At the weekend one of my best friends and business colleagues tied the knot for the second time. While enjoying the Buddhist celebration in sunny Essex I pondered the worrying absence of respect that now marks our society.

The wedding was held over two days. One day for a Christian ceremony, the other for a Buddhist celebration; the bride and her family come from Sri Lanka.

The house where the wedding took place was transformed for the occasion with all manner of entertainments, music, food and wine and decor.

The simplicity of the Buddhist ceremony, though, brought tears to the eye. The key theme of the service was the shedding of the past by the giving and rejecting of betel leaves followed by welcoming both the bride and groom to the family.

This was demonstrated by both kissing the feet of their parents and acknowledging them as the heads of the respective families. Watching my friend Neil doing this was slightly amusing considering that he heads two very large companies. I bet his staff would just love to have seen that. He took it in good spirit and finally got down on his knees! Those pictures are private but I have included one of the happy couple in the blog.

Standing there enjoying the day, I wondered when we lost this demonstrable show of respect from our children to us as parents.

I know that most children respect their parents but there are many who don’t. You  cannot in good conscience argue that it is the child’s fault, rather  the parents and society as a whole must shoulder the blame. Over the past 50 years or so we have become obsessed with ‘developing our children as independent human beings’ and have suceeded only to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It’s time we reversed all this so-called ‘political correctness’ and got back to some good old fashioned family values. Maybe then we will see respect start flowing back into society. Maybe then we will see less crime, drunkenness, drug taking and violence.

I can live in hope, although it’s unlikely to happen in my lifetime. The thought of seeing my grandchildren bowing to me as a mark of respect makes me smile.

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