“…Anything less makes the man nothing but a selfish egocentric sperm donor and the woman only a cold and cruel human incubator.”
Every child is a blessing from God, and having children, natural or adopted, is one of the greatest privileges a couple or a person can have. But just like any privilege in life, parenthood comes with serious obligations and responsibilities for both the mother and the father, or the adopted parent(s).
It does not require a man to be a genius or a superman to impregnate a woman. Neither does it need more than consent for a healthy woman to get pregnant. What makes a woman a mother is not the few minutes of romance or the short nine months of carrying the child, or even the actual delivery. They are the everlasting love, enduring sacrifices and endless patience that follow in caring for the child that define motherhood. Child bearing is easy. Child rearing is something else. Any woman can get pregnant and deliver a child, but not all can be a mother.
Similarly, it takes more than just virility and prowess in bed for a man to be a father. Fatherhood is the indomitable strength, invincible courage, and the joyful eagerness in a man to commit, to love with selfless devotion and tenderness the new life he helps bring into this world.
Anything less in either parent makes the man nothing but an egocentric sperm donor and the woman only a cold and cruel human incubator.
While most couples are blessed with children of their own, some have to endeavor harder to receive these gifts. The admirable ones who have decided to adopt children are those with fortitude, self-confidence, a mind that is secure, and a heart full of love and compassion. And in today’s world where unfortunate orphans and unwanted, or neglected, children abound, these wonderful couples, who are eager to adopt them, love them, and care for them, are truly admirable saviors and heroes in the strict sense of the word. After all, procreation, conception, and delivery are only a miniscule part of true motherhood, and providing the sperm, only an iota of what fatherhood is all about.
Parenthood is really the natural instinct of giving oneself totally in the subconscious fulfillment of an unwritten, self-imposed, contract the parents made with their yet unborn child, entered into the very moment the man and the woman engaged themselves in an act that could bring forth a new life into this world. Conceivably, that same sacred bond, and all the instincts of parenthood, have been faithfully kept and handed down from the very first family of humans on earth to our generation today. The reciprocal obligation is, of course, for the children to take care of their parents when the time comes.
That this covenant is a part of the laws of nature is evident even among animals, especially among mammals. It is a tragedy and a shame, though to realize that it is more pervasive among humans to neglect, hurt and/or abandon their young than among almost all animals. Similarly, it is a sad commentary, on the other end of the spectrum, that ingratitude and cruelty are all too common among some people of today, who wantonly desert their old and helpless parents in the sunset years of their lives when they need their children’s love and care the greatest.
While parenthood is a grave responsibility filled with many a sleepless night, sweat and sacrifices, and sometimes disappointments and tears, it is nonetheless a joyous privilege and a magnificent gift from the Almighty. And as long as we, supposedly the smartest and most superior creatures on the Planet Earth, continue to honor that divine covenant, the world will remain a wonderful place to live in.
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Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org