Last night, among the glamor that defines the Oscars, J.K. Simmons gave this gem of an acceptance speech:
"Call your mom, call your dad. If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet call them. Don't text. Don't email. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them and thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you Mom and Dad."
What is most surprising to me, however, is how much buzz this touching speech has received. It's really simple advice, right? Call your mom and dad. But I think for many, it hits a little sore spot that we could be doing more to show appreciation for those who gave us life.
My transition of child-parent relationship to adult-parent relationship has been similar to a lot of other millennials. That is to say, pretty delayed.
I came back to live in my old room between college semesters. I moved in with my parents for two months after I graduated college before I got a career job. When it comes to parents, mine are A+ on generosity. This meant my mom still cooked me food, I had free rent, and they allowed me to come and go as I pleased. In gratitude for their generosity, I did basically nothing.
I've thought about this a lot lately. When it comes to other people, I am happy to go out of my way to help them out. Yes, I'll happily make you a meal. Yes, I'll help you move. You're lonely? I'll stop by and talk. But when it comes to taking a few minutes out of my day to call my parents - who are now empty nesters - and let them talk, I so often put it on the back burner. Those closest to us are so often the ones who get neglected.
Obviously some parental relations are not happy. Some have to be cut off out of necessity, but J.K. Simmons message I think really is about spending the time we should with those who have given us the most. Attention and gratitude go a long way in strengthening a relationship.
Most of humanity, I would guess, could do better at that.
He gave us all a simple goal: call your parents. For more ideas on how to show more gratitude for your parents, check out 5 ways adult children hurt their parents without realizing it.