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Do Parents and Elders Deserve Honor?

In the Old Testament, the expectation that children honor their parents comes with the understanding that parents have fulfilled their responsibilities towards their children.

This was a matter of consequence because parents were the only ones who could function as provider, protector, and educator. This honoring implied all that comes with it in the context of the familial parent-child relationship, most especially attention and deference, where parents were figures of authority in almost all aspects of life.

It was a given fact that the parents were responsible for the well-being of their children, being the primary movers for the procurement of provisions for the entire family.

This family was part of a bigger or extended family that could include everyone in the community, and that the rearing up of children was a corporate responsibility of this bigger family where everyone was interconnected with each other in personal relationships. The adults in this bigger family were responsible for their collective children. There were no other agencies that may take this responsibility away from the parents, unlike today where the state may.

The parents were answerable only to God in all their responsibilities to their children. If ever the angle of the “state’s” interference can be entertained at all, the hierarchy will be negligible because the “state” itself was answerable to God since its authority was not absolute but rather sprang from God.

The Fourth [or Fifth] Commandment [that is, the commandment to honor parents] was a reiteration of the adult children’s obligations towards their parents in view of the natural course of human life that leads all parents to aging. It was an assumption that children will eventually be the ones who will take care of their parents.

This was the natural course of life for all within the context of the bigger family, which was the same with all [the] other communities.

There was no question about whether parents deserved the honoring because had the parents been irresponsible in their duties as parents, then none in the consequent generation would have survived to later become responsible parents themselves.

It was in this context that the rabbis interpreted the commandment to honor parents, that the honoring is due by virtue of parenthood, as God had commanded it, and no other requirements were needed. It was assumed that parents deserved honoring from children. If the question would be about the honorableness of parents in the way they performed their duties, then the children’s being able to survive into mature adulthood was itself proof that the parents had fulfilled their responsibilities to their children.

an excerpt from my published dissertation: Siacor, Mona Lisa. The Significance of the Elterngebot (Iloilo City: CPU Press, 2017).

The question of how to honor narcissistic parents deserves another major research altogether (uhuh, I don’t have it in my dissertation, though I certainly do want to find out, and fast ! ). What’s more important is that one has become aware of the situation, and so start from there. . . It certainly is very tough going, to be in the middle of this. . .

Photo by Rachel Claire on

Are Parents Still Relevant?

I’m writing a book and I’m calling it, “Are Parents Still Relevant?” Wish me the best!

My answer to that question is this: “Yes.” That’s my conclusion after years of figuring out the what’s and how’s of the not so oft-repeated maxim to “respect one’s parents.” A mind-baffling suggestion to both those who are already doing it and those who do not have the inclination to do it at all.

I tried to trace the roots of this imperative—which is nowadays considered a psychological-emotional imperative, or a “powerful suggestion to the conscience”—that one better be respectful to one’s parents. Not having a “respectful” relationship with one’s actual parents opens up a myriad of questions in one’s head, eventually. Such a genuine concern to real people brings out unique emotional responses or triggers that have to be dealt with individually, specifically, and with utmost care. This being so, the question, “Ought parents be respected?” becomes an essentially valid and existential question. Answering it belongs to the essence of our humanity.

This question, “Ought parents be respected?” produces, by consequence, the equally valid and existential, “Ought bad parents be respected?” Fortunately, there are a myriad books and treaties out there precisely on this concern. This amount of materials out there show that the problem on respecting bad parents call for a separate and deservedly serious treatment. Why so? Because the existence of “bad” parents is a deviation from how parents ought to be, in its essence.

Parents ought to be life-giving, life-nurturing, and life-sustaining. Not meeting these categories already produces for us a cycle of “bad” offspring who themselves, in their turn, equally likely and not, become “bad” parents. Any “bad” cycle may go on until a generation breaks it and starts off with how parents ought to be, and so produce offspring who will have more potential to become parents themselves in the real sense—life-giving, life-nurturing, and life-sustaining.

We have also seen “good” parents who have produced “bad” offspring in any of the varied ways possible. Veering our discussion away now from matters of personal and life choices, of psychological factors such as the environment, we go back to the generic question, “Ought parents be respected?”

This book I’m working on now will try its best to answer that. However, there are areas where I am out of my depth and so will not be able to do justice to discussions in these matters. I share with you one good example:

Update 1.August,2021. The question of how to honor narcissistic parents deserves another major research altogether (uhuh, I don’t have it in my dissertation, though I certainly do want to find out, and fast ! ). What’s more important is that one has become aware of the situation, and so start from there. . . It certainly is very tough going, to be in the middle of this. . . I’ll try and answer that, hopefully I can, in this new book I’m working on, knowing that it’s one of the more difficult areas in psychology. Wishing the best for us all

Duped to Adapt

“[I]ndividuals desperately attempt to ‘refashion’ themselves as more efficient, faster, leaner, inventive and self-actualizing than they were previously.”[1] As the world now sees it, globalization “not only operates on a horizontal axis, universalizing the operations of multinational capital and new digital technologies across the globe; it operates also, and fundamentally, on a vertical axis, reorganizing identities, intimacies and emotions into its wake.”[2] It appears, then, that the ability to cater to the hype of “fast changes” is being normalized not because it is how humans are but because it is the best way that global businesses can succeed.

[1] Ibid., 429.

[2] Ibid., 426.

Excerpt from:

Siacor, Mona Lisa. The Significance of the Elterngebot (Iloilo City: CPU Press, 2017), in Chapter 6.2.

Indoctrination in Society

The expectation from everyone to be “civilized” at the earliest age possible is clearly for the sake of having order in the state. In this relation, Dencik points out that the state has in fact made extensive intrusions into the lives of individuals and their families, even to the extent of affecting children’s worldviews by way of television (Ibid., 168-9). Lorenz uses the term “indoctrinability” for this phenomenon, where modern citizens can be engineered by the state for the state’s benefit. He says governments and organizations that will benefit from the “indoctrination with a code of fictitious values” of its people operate on the false belief that humans “would become ideal people if only those [external] conditions were ideal.” They aim to “condition people into uniform, unresisting subjects” using “effective mass suggestion, clever advertising techniques, and impressive mass media. In economics manipulation is evident in “discarding scarcely used goods for the purpose of acquiring new ones, […] custom work and handcrafts are destroyed by the competition of industry, [… so that] we are all forced to conform to the dictates of mass manufacturers, to eat the food and wear the clothes prescribed by them.” Even science has been invaded by “indoctrination” so that the most respectable area of study is the one that “promises money, energy, or power.” (Konrad Lorenz, Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins).


Siacor, Mona Lisa. The Significance of the Elterngebot (Iloilo City, Philippines: CPU Press, 2017), footnote 1427.

The Bible as Basis

Far from a boring read, Mangalwadi’s positivity shines through his book.

[UPDATE. As of today, 20th July 2021, I intend to edit this post, so to make it non-egotistical and non-exclusive. I’ll try my best! Kaja!]

“The result of global upheavals that accelerated after the Industrial Revolution will continue to shape global ethos so much so that […] people’s traditional ways will continue to evolve into new forms. Many forces continue to shape and are in turn shaped by values. If the honoring of parents is such a fundamental part of a human being’s set-up, then unchanging references of this phenomenon must be recognized.  Such a reference can be acknowledged in the Old Testament.

Although the Hebrew culture was as unique as the rest are, it is through it that God is believed to have communicated to man in a particular way. How biblical Israel’s children are seen to have shown honor to parents will continuously convey messages to the present world for as long as man thrives.”

excerpt, Siacor’s dissertation

The above excerpt is in line with the expectation that Christianity’s ethos ultimately bases on the Bible. However, there are other reasons why the Bible is a legitimate starting point from a secular perspective (that is, has nothing to do with religion).

Today I discovered this wonderful book:

Mangalwadi, Vishal. The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2011).

It is an entertaining set of discussions by a very knowledgeable authority regarding the enduring relevance of the Bible to the current world’s technological and academic prowess from the perspective of its motivational roots.

Mangalwadi mentions the tragedy that surrounded Kurt Cobain, a famous vocal artist who left the world at a young age, in connection with his comment that,

“Never mind” is a logical virtue for a nihilist who thinks that there is nothing out there to give meaning and significance to anything here—be it your daughter, wife, or life. In contrast, the modern West was built by people who dedicated their lives to what they believed was divine, true, and noble.

Vishal Mangalwadi

The facets of humanity that the Bible can potentially influence reaches beyond its traditional religious realm, even beyond human psychology and the arts.

The topic on the importance of the Bible to the present world is higly polemical. Nevertheless, the number of influential personages in the globe who adhere to its ethos, in one way or another, cannot be downplayed. (See, for instance:

Jones, Janet S.; Murray, Samantha R.; and Warren, Kelly B. (2018) “Christian Leadership in a Secular World,” Journal of Applied Christian Leadership: Vol. 12: No. 2, 90-107. Available at:

or this webpage, accessed 30June2021: )

The Honoring of Parents is Fundamental to Humanity

M with James Bond

The following is an excerpt from my legally copyrighted doctoral dissertation

    “It is not only the descendants of Abraham who know how to honor parents.  Indeed, we have not heard of a culture where people do not honor parents.  Yet around the world and throughout history the way aged parents are treated by their adult children comprises a wide spectrum.  Though no culture today can be categorically described as not honoring parents, the fact is that for many individuals the honoring of their parents is not placed among the priorities in their lives.

     In a 2004 article in a Bible study website four factors were cited that lead to the tendency of “undermining” the honoring of parents in the U.S.A.:

   1.)  There is the impact of technology.

   2.)  Because of the rapid increase of divorce, children are often called upon to honor one parent and to despise the other.

   3.)  If it is possible to pin the blame for our problems on someone else, it is also easy to pin the responsibility of caring for aging parents on someone else.

   4.)  Honor is due to more than just parents.[1]

     Not long ago an article in an online British newspaper said of the famous actress Dame Judi Dench,

‘Judi Dench has lambasted “inhumane” care homes, suggesting families should take in elderly relatives instead. […] The sight of pensioners being left with little to keep their minds busy was, she said, particularly distressing – and a prospect that made her desperate to carry on working.’[2]     

In many countries now, the care of elderly parents, pensioners, is a situation involving many issues, such as psychological and economic.  The two illustrations above may serve to show that if only a perfect way can be found then the honoring of the elderly is rather hoped to be more satisfactorily met than it is being done now.  The present dissatisfaction in many parts of the world in this area somehow suggests that the act of honoring parents is a fundamental consistency of being a human.”

[1] Bob Deffinbaugh, “18. Between Child and Parent – Honoring Father and Mother (Exodus 20:12),” in (May 13, 2004), (accessed February 6, 2012).

[2] Liz Thomas, “Dame Judi hits out at ‘inhumane’ care homes: We should let our elderly live with us, says actress,” in Mail Online (January 31, 2012 [last updated]), (accessed March 29, 2017).

Dame Judi Dench with Pierce Brosnan, in James Bond’s “Die Another Day”

I greet you!

For us, kamusta or kumusta simly means “How are you(?)” and it may not even expect an answer as it also serves as a generic greeting, regardless of gender or age. Hence, a ? or an ! may go with it.


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