Filial piety a shackle?

Filial piety is a central value in traditional Chinese culture. However, I feel that it is a good value to have regardless of race.

While some may feel that being forced to adopt filial piety is akin to being chained down to/by their parents, this is not really the case. In fact, it cannot be something that is forced onto you. The moment it is forced, it is no longer filial piety.  Filial piety is simply respecting your parents decisions and repaying them for bringing you up. It is something that should come naturally.

Respect does not necessarily mean that you have to give them blind obedience. It simply means that you need to treat them with respect. Even if you find something unreasonable, you should not burst out in anger. Instead, try to keep calm and explain your point of view to your parents. Sometimes, all it takes is a little patience and effort to get the other party to see the situation from your point of view. In fact, in this process you may even end up understanding the reason for some of the things your parents ask you to do or not to do and change your mind.

Of course, sometimes even after discussing the situation at hand, you may not see eye to eye as you and your parents differ in beliefs. In such cases, it would be best if you could reach a compromise. Try to give in to your parents a little bit and slowly gain their trust. Along the way, as their trust in you builds up, they may become more willing to let you have your way.

At the end of the day, as long as you do what needs to be done in your daily life, your parents trust in you would likely increase. It would also make it more manageable to give back to your parents in the future.

While it may have been your parents choice to devote their resources to nurture and look after you, it does not mean that we should just accept it and not return anything. Even if they are not expecting returns (parents who just want to see their children grow up happy and capable).

Of course, this is simply my opinion because my conscience would not let me feel at ease if I let myself be indebted to anyone. Even if they are my own parents.

– K.A.L.T


On a side note, I believe that everyone should try to be more respectful towards others regardless of who they are. Two angry people will never resolve a conflict if neither of them calms down to even try to understand each other.


In my post, I mainly talked about families with parents who are at least willing to listen to their children and really just want the best for their children.

What are your thoughts on filial piety? Is it a old tradition that should be put away or do you support it? Or do you have truly unreasonable parents who won’t even bother listening to you?

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