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Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Different ways children live up to their parent's wishes

Rika Kayama

When the blockbuster film "Bohemian Rhapsody" focusing on British rock band Queen came out, I rushed to the theater to see it. It is not a documentary, but a biographical film starring movie actors playing the role of band members.

The main character is singer Freddie Mercury, who had a very interesting life. He spent his childhood days in Zanzibar Island, India and other countries under British rule, before moving to Britain with his family. His parents and younger sister are depicted as conscientious people in the film.

Freddie, who goes almost every night to attend concerts after his part time job, is reproached by his father, who tells him to pursue "good deeds." Even when Queen becomes a much-loved band around the world, Freddie's father gives him hardly any credit for its success.

However, there is a scene at the end of the movie where Freddie reunites with his family and tells them what he is actually trying to do. In a nutshell, the scene reveals how Freddie never rejected his parent's wishes; he just pursued them in a different way.

I believe the same kind of situation can occur in any ordinary parent-child relationship. Let's pretend that a parent tells a child to "enter a good university, join a good company and become a person who can contribute to society." When the child fails to live up to these expectations and does not go to university, the parent is disappointed, and may think, "My dream did not come true."

But what if, for example, the child begins to operate an eatery 20 years later, in which they serve tasty meals to kids in the neighborhood once a week? Couldn't it be said that the child has fulfilled the parent's wish of becoming "a person who can contribute to society" as a result?

Every parent hopes for their child to become a good person. But the way children live out that wish may not always match the parent's expectations. In this way, there may come a day when parents who thought their children had completely let them down acknowledge that they "were a good child after all."

Freddie always acted contrary to his parents' advice. He was able to reunite with them after moving out and achieving major success. As I watched the film, I thought, "It's true. There are parents and children out there who develop an understanding of each other after a long period of time." The film can be enjoyed not just for its amazing music, but also from many other different aspects. I recommend that people see it if they get the chance.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

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