I remember meeting a very young man who was running a pirate radio station from a tower-block that he would then beam a signal to from his bedroom. To get to the tower-block to erect his aerial and transmitter he would ride the Underground. Yes, a little bit perplexing to look at no doubt, but in those days nobody worried about people carrying loads of wires, long poles and metal boxes bulking out a rucksack, because nobody had yet blown themselves up on the Underground system.
It came to pass that his father found out about what he was doing, the illegality of it, and so there was a sitting down serious chat. The young pirate feared the worse, but his father realised the unique passion he had for it. Rather bizarrely, it ended up that his father would give him a lift to the tower-blocks, rather than him having to get there by Tube train.
As he grew up and started his own business, ran through professional and personal issues, his parents seemed to be there to help him. He could lean on them and they would counsel him. It seemed to me that he could run things by them, discuss options, and that they were supportive proud parents, even when he was making mistakes.
This concept of a parent-child relationship I’d never witnessed before. Secretly, I became jealous that life had left me with no parents to bounce things off, to support me, to guide me, to, well, be traditional stereotypical parents. I’d known no better myself until I witnessed this very young pirate having parents.
To my surprise life didn’t have to be making uninformed decisions alone, not really knowing or understanding which way one is facing let alone how to move forward. Parents, to my amazement were there to give unconditional love and affection, and from time to time point to life options and short-cuts or to simply hold one’s hand. Parents are there so you are not so desperately alone, apparently.
But, those that have bad parents, just as those who have a single parent or those who have no parents, actually grow up knowing no different. And they survive. They get by. Just about.
However, they never seem to have the confidence to do as well as those fortunate enough to have ‘proper’ parents ‘watching their back’. I’m pretty sure that ‘proper’ parents help short-cut and avoid the cock-ups, the heartache, the ridiculous errors of judgement, or to simply say, “You’re making a prat of yourself!’.
Heck, even Richard Branson had extensive parental support whilst becoming a ‘self’-made millionaire.
How many of those who eventually ‘made it’ to a good level of success, however that is measured, did so without the love and support of parents? Not as many who made it with, I’d guess.