by Kenneth Justice
~ “I would do anything for my children Kenneth….I just want them to be happy” he said.
Yesterday morning I grabbed a coffee from a little outdoor coffee vendor and sat along the beach to enjoy the sunrise…..an hour or so later a tour bus pulled up and I soon found myself sitting next to an early 60ish guy from the East Coast who asked me if I would help him interpret the map of the area he was looking at.
Turns out he is retired and was on the tour bus with his 30-something son who was off at the moment exploring the city. His son has been going through some tough times in recent years. Without going into the details, lets just say that his son is at a place in life where he needs to find out who he is and what he wants to do with his life.
“If it turned out my son’s sexuality was something I didn’t expect, I would still love him and be there for him” the father said, “If it turns out he wants to pursue a career in something I never could of expected, I would support him”
We talked for some time about the dynamics of Western Culture and I explained to him that it sounded like his son was simply having a difficult time in the U.S. because ‘perhaps he simply doesn’t fit in’ I said. “Much of the United States is a pretty fast paced society, and the vibe I’m getting from you is that your son isn’t the most charismatic or outgoing person….and sometimes people who lean a bit more toward the introverted side can feel like they are somehow disconnected from much of Western culture….everything you’re saying leads me to think your son feels a bit lonely” I said, of which the father agreed.
This father was a pretty amazing guy; because the entire reason he brought his son down to Costa Rica for the week was out of a desire for his son to get away from life back in the East Coast….to have a moment of peace and tranquility away from the bustle of the big city.
“I love my sons so much” the father said, “And actually last week I brought my other son here on a tour bus; I wanted to spend a week alone with each of them and just enjoy each other’s company and let them see Costa Rica”
The father was clearly not loaded with money, “Its not that I have a ton of money to throw around” he said, “But I know that both of my sons are going through some difficult times and I felt it was worth putting the money into an adventure where I could spend time with them, talking, seeing the country, and perhaps this could be an opportunity for them to begin finding themselves just a little bit…”
Sure, every parent can’t afford to take their children to another country simply to spend time with them and help them figure out their life……however,
—) A mother could take her son out to coffee once in awhile
—) A father could take his daughter for a walk
—) A mother could surprise her adult daughter at work and take her out to lunch
Sometimes, its simply taking the time and the effort to reach out to those we love and having a meaningful conversation with them.
One of the things that impressed me the most about this father is that he was less concerned about what kind of things his sons should do regarding careers, relationships, etc…..but that he simply wanted them to pursue whatever happens to be in their heart. Perhaps some people may think I’m silly, but I’ve always believed that we are born with certain things implanted in our hearts and that we are meant to pursue them……is that destiny? I don’t know……but I do know that if don’t pursue our passions; the world can end up feeling like a very lonely place.
As we sat there alongside the ocean we talked for the better part of an hour and half……I was surprised at how much the older man opened up to me; but I think he was simply looking for someone to bounce his thoughts off of….”Kenneth” he said, “I’m not a religious person at all, but I feel that this was a blessing for me to have met you and have this conversation….I feel encouraged that I’ve done the right thing in bringing my son down here this week” he said
I guess I found it interesting that this man who had clearly been somewhat successful in life (he had numerous college degrees) still appreciated being encouraged by a fellow human being. Perhaps it doesn’t matter how old we get; receiving reassurance from someone can help bring us a measure of peace.
Sometimes we go on vacation to simply have some fun in the sun…….sometimes we simply want to have new experiences in a different part of the country or world…..but for some people, like this father, going on vacation is about connecting with loved ones, about finding oneself, and about being their for your children.
The coffee is always good here in Costa Rica,
Categories: Drinking in the Culture