--- I really didn't mean it that way, though I had an intuition some people might jump the gun. There is an undeniable difference alright, but that doesn't lead to any judgemental summary of good evrsus bad. There's always good and bad everywhere in every culture. What I was talking about is a way of practice in FP which, as you said above, is not acceptable by most people in the West.k1w1 wrote:Damn, my post disappeared too!
I find these discussions of filial peity amusing. It is almost always a "See what we do in Asia because we love our families?" and "See how selfish Westerners are that they leave their old people to rot in retirement homes?" comparison.
As MHB said, it is not usually acceptable in many Western cultures to discuss money. I don't even know what my brothers earn, and would be told where to go if I asked someone in my parents' generation something like that!
In all seriousness, there is a heavy burden on the shoulders of many in Singapore. It is just not realistic to expect someone to pay for their parents, pay for their children, and somehow support themselves - all in a time when the cost of living goes far beyond the average person's salary.
I can only hope the OP does not have children. The part about expecting a return from your children is abhorrent to me. Talk about a burden - and just for being born.
Without a full-throated denouncement of this close-minded, outdated and false assumption, your subsequent posts are ultimately meaningless.tianchang wrote:But FP is unheard of in the West where the individual reigns supreme, even within the family structure. With the current crisis on pensions, annuities and other financial shortfalls faced by the retireds, FP might be a jolly good idea
Hi KSL, yes the post was well meant but the reactions are revealing. No, I'm not nostalgic as I have too much to do and time flies too quickly.ksl wrote:Filial Piety
This expression is not commonly used in the west for obvious reasons it's mostly Asian...To say westerners do not look after their parents is quite wrong. Even the lowest paid westerners will endeavor to help their parents if needed. Though parents very often are too proud to ask for help, many are even too proud to request welfare help.
I get the impression that Anneteoh is feeling rather nostalgic, it's an age think. Most Singaporeans over the age of 40 will no doubt look after their parents in accordance with what they can afford. Though lets be realsitic many Singaporeans are exploited due to a lack of education and are subsidized by government accordingly, this group will certainly have difficulty looking after anyone but themselves, its called survival.
Filial piety is a good thing, it goes on the world over, not just Asian, though the expression is well meant. I have seen with my own eyes, the jealousy and upheavil fighting over wealth in Asia, after parents have passed on... so the Filial Peity is also measured in financial terms at the end of the yard stick. For the hard working parents that went to the grave, it would be a shock, how families are split over inheritance, the same as any where else in the world.
You're most welome Earth Friendly. I retain the quotation so that I can flick back to your excellent research and make reference to some of the observations you've made. Seems like you're an Asia hand, like there're China hands in the days of MaCarthyism.earthfriendly wrote:"The definition includes the responsibility of each person to respect their parents, obey them, take care of them as they age, advise parents, and of course to love them. Loving one’s parents and offering them respect is the spring from which other forms of filial piety flows. A relationship with parents must be centered on love and respect. This does not mean that children always obey. In fact some schools of Confucian and Buddhist thought feel the adult child must point out the parent’s mistakes and help to teach them. Confucius often emphasized the circuitous relationship of life. When the child is young, the parent is strong, preeminent and due all respect. When the child is an adult he or she must take the place of the parent and lead the family."
This post pricked my interest and I googled Confucianism and filial piety. I also read the wikipedia page. Apparently Confucianism placed a big emphasis on filial piety and it took such a strong hold on the Chinese psyche to honor the family across the generations hence giving rise to the concept of lineage, continueing family line and hence a preference for sons so as to preserve the surname of the family and honoring one's ancestors resulting in the ancestor worship we know today.
Confucianism is about each person fulfilling his social responsibility (not about social status) within the unit,family, prefecture and ultimately at the country level. It is about cultivating mind and character and in his classroom, the rich learn alongside poor students. One just needs to have the desire to learn. No mention of $$$$. So filial piety is not about unquestioning obedience or getting $$$ return out of your kids. Many people have evoke the name of Confucianism to justify their personal objectives. Multi level marketers also use confucianism to justify their existence. Yes confucianism endorses a hierarchy structure but it is a heirarchy of social responsibilities, not an instrument for the person on top to extract revenue out of their downline.
Japan is much more confucianistic than Singapore and yet the elderly are quite independent of their kids. Just like there are people who use Islam for good and those who committ terror in its name. Confucianism is open to interpretation and practised differently in different countries. The west may not have a formal name like FP but the concept of love and respect for parents is a universal one. Each culture/family shows their love and respect differently based on their personal situation.
Being financially independent is a personal responsibility and one should not shift it to another party pinning hopes on govt pension (which is failing) and your kids. When I become old and frail, I hope my kids will come tend to me. And they do it because they want to spend time with me and not because Confucius says so.
And I hope I will not be too proud to ask for financial help from my kids if I need it. You don't know how long you will live and it is hard to make financial plan with a big unknown. And rising health care cost can make a big dent. It is possible to run out of $$ despite good planning. It is not unreasonable to request for help from your kids at this point. After all, that's what family is for right? Helping each other out in times of need.
Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:I guess I just see no value in perpetualizing antiquated stereotypes and pitting East vs. West on an expat forum.
beppi wrote: We can continue forever searching for reasons to claim one culture superior to another, but to me it's just another example of different, not worse.
Suggesting that you think of all cultures, none are 'worse' than another? They're all of completely equal worth? Hmm!
What is really lacking (on any side of this debate) is not Filial Piety, but understanding, open-mindedness and tolerance!
Er, but this is a cross-cultural discussion forum on the web. In fact probably one of the more mature and tolerant fora I've ever encountered.
Can we continue the discussion in this spirit?
What are we meant to do, hold hands, close our eyes and empathise with each other?
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests