A letter to my son | Sunday Observer

A letter to my son

My dearest son, tears of joy flooded from my eyes when the news reached my ears that you have passed the Grade Five Scholarship Examination. It was indeed a good sign of your long journey which you conquered out of much commitment and hard work. I know quite well how you kept away from your playful childhood and carried out that rigorous course both day and night to reach your target. Though your mother and I knew it was a crime to forget your innocence, steal your play time and rest and so on, we had to do so even unwillingly as the only thing we could afford to do for your future was nothing else but to provide you with a sound education. Dear Son, through various types of mass media we could hear and witness children of your age, who had obtained very high marks at the examination talking of their future ambitions in such a triumphant mood, which I think will be a firm foundation for their future orientations.

Dear son, I know what your dream was too in this complex and fast moving world. It is a great ambition, a noble thought to be a physician indeed, whose smiles and comforting words can have a healing power upon the sick. Also noble professions which can bring back life, smiles and hope to the dying souls from various sicknesses. A physician is a God visible who can be kept at a point of veneration for the incredible miracles performed by transplanting hearts, kidneys, and so on.

Dear son, I know your little head is still not mature enough to make firm decisions. Yet, if your sole intention is to be a physician one day, I presume you need to bear these thoughts in your mind right now as the seeds of these thoughts can become a tree laden with fruit which even a violent storm cannot shake and harm.

Forget not my dear son that it is public money from which you receive your education and you are indebted forever to repay that through a genuine service to your motherland. Secondly, forget not the cries and pain of the helpless patients when your help becomes urgent and essential. Listen to them and treat them kindly as most of them may be in a struggle between life and death and never keep their lives at a risk demanding your rights and privileges of any sort.

Today, certain professions have turned out to be money generating machines. You may question one day that you too need money to lead a good life - building a mansion, possessing a luxurious vehicle, foreign tours and what not perfectly you are correct my son, but at the same time, remember that there is no end to human desires and cravings. The more you get the more need you will have. Therefore, satisfaction of what you get and managing it in a righteous manner will bring you happiness and a long healthy life, for which no medicine can be prescribed. That happiness travels through the blood blessing not only you but also your children parents ……. too. You will be a great man my dear son when taking the Hippocratic Oath, which tells the most righteous way for a physician to be honoured among all men for all time to come and remember. The violation of this noble oath, remember, will bring the very opposite consequences of all this. Therefore, my son, I fathered you, fed you and brought you up with hard earned money and try my best to help you find your place in society. Your mother and I may not be alive to witness your success, but remember, even without the stethoscope you should be able to feel, and hear the heartbeat of the innocent people who come to you. Be kind and do not market and sell the dignity of your noble service for monetary gains. You may be poor and may die poor, yet, you will have no worries other than happiness and self-satisfaction which money can never buy.

Finally, I wish you wholeheartedly to realise your dreams. But, I can’t make predictions in such a way in this world. What I request you is – make sure only knowledge, status, reputation, money will never make you a successful person, but you need to mix and remix positive attitudes, virtues and skills and be productive and a useful citizen in whatever the field you hope to strive.

Your loving father

By A. Jayalath Basnagoda