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Gospel Reader

How Can My Young, Brash, and Arrogant Self Get Along With My Grandmother?


An Qi

human relationship, happy family

My name is An Qi. Before the age of six, I was living at my grandmother’s house. At the time, my grandmother was the person with whom I felt closest to. Each day when I went to the kindergarten, my grandmother decided which clothes I would wear and how I would comb my hair. I felt that my grandmother did these things the best. Gradually, I grew up and I started to disapprove of some of the things that my grandmother did. My grandmother also started to disapprove of me as well. Each time I went to her house, she would scold me. If she wasn’t nagging me on one thing, she would be nagging me about something else. I felt very upset.

In 2016, it became very popular to wear a necklace around one’s collarbone. I had also bought one of these necklaces. One day, after school, I went happily to my grandmother’s home. When I got there, she squinted at me and disapprovingly said, “Look at what kind of gadget you have around your neck. It’s like a dog collar. Do you feel comfortable with it so tight around your neck?” Originally, I was feeling quite happy but after hearing her say this, I was no longer happy at all. I disgruntledly replied, “You’re so old. What do you understand? This is called fashion. Even if I explained it, you would not understand!” For this reason, I was still moody in the evening.

The next day, I told my grandmother, “Grandma, you haven’t combed my hair in a long time. Can you comb it?” When she heard me say this, she happily combed my hair for me. After she finished combing my hair I took a look: My goodness! My hair was bunched up so tightly that it was lifting my eyes up. On top of that, she moistened my hair with water, so it started to look greasy.” I could not help but yell, “What did you do? Who combs their hair like this now? It’s hideous! Look how when you comb it with water, it looks like a cow licked my hair.” My grandmother said, “This doesn’t look great? A young girl looks good when her hair is combed neatly and elegantly! In the past, you used to be happy with the way I combed your hair. Now, you just seem to have your own notions about what is fashionable!” When I heard my grandmother say this, I became even more angry. I thought: “How can you keep up with the times if you look at things with your old eyes? In the past, you did not even have a cell phone, but now you can use one. Can your past compare to the present time?” I left my grandmother’s house in a fit of fury.

From then on, I did not like going to my grandmother’s house because each time I went, she would find something to nag about. One time, I wore baggy jeans when I went to my grandmother’s house. When she saw me, she said, “Look at those pants. They are so baggy. And you rolled up your pant legs. You look like a little hoodlum!” Another time, I put on beggar pants and went to my grandmother’s house. When she saw that my pants were a little dirty, she washed them for me. The result was that the next day I put on those pants, I saw that the hole in the pants was missing. Puzzled, I asked, “What happened to the hole in these pants?” My grandmother unhappily grumbled, “I sewed it up! There was a hole in your own pants, but you did not even know to give it to your mother to sew. How can you wear worn out pants so enthusiastically?” At that time, I was furious and I angrily told my grandmother, “These pants were originally like this. When I bought them, there was already a hole. They are called ‘beggar pants’!” My grandmother said, “Do you think it is easy for your mother to make money? How can you spend money on worn out pants? You have money yet you do not know what you should spend it on. If it’s not your entire ankle then it’s your entire knee….” Afterward, she started to rant a lot. Before she could finish, in a huff, I said, “Are you finished yet? Whenever I come over to your house, you will nag me. Perhaps I won’t come over from now on. Look at some of the people on TV. Aren’t they wearing the same thing? You really should change your old-fashioned view, otherwise I won’t have anything to talk to you about!” When my grandmother heard this, she was angry. She mumbled to herself, “You only know how to give me a nasty look.”

When I returned home, I told my mother, “From now on, I will no longer go to my grandmother’s house!” My mother asked, “Why? Didn’t you use to like going to your grandmother’s house?” I told my mother what happened at my grandmother’s house. My mother said, “You’re so picky. Now, you start ignoring your grandmother. When you were twelve years old, you started attending gatherings and reading God’s word. You have already believed in God for a few years. You must view this situation in accordance with God’s words. Do not always look down on your grandmother.” I did not say anything, yet, in my mind, I thought, “You two are the same. Your thoughts are outdated!”

Afterward, I opened up God’s words and read what God said: “What aspect of disposition does the manifestation of ‘the brashness and arrogance of youth’ refer to? Why do I say those of about 16 or 17 and those in their twenties are young, brash and arrogant? Why do I use these words to describe the young people in this age group? It’s not because I am prejudiced toward those in this age group, or that I look down upon them. It’s because the people in this age group have a certain kind of disposition within them. Because the people in this age group are inexperienced in the matters of the world and have little understanding of the affairs of human life, when they just begin to come into contact with the affairs of the world and of human life, they think, ‘I understand. I understand thoroughly. I know it all! I can understand what adults talk about and I can keep up with all the fashionable things in society. Now mobile phones are developing quickly, with functions that are so complicated—I know how to use it all! You bunch of old women don’t understand anything. You even can’t turn on the TV, and if you do manage to turn it on, you can’t switch it off again.’ There are some young people, when their grandmothers speak to them and say: ‘Do this for granny,’ who reply: ‘Humph, you can’t even do this. Old people really are useless!’ What kind of way is that to talk? Don’t forget, you will also grow old one day. Can being able to do some things like this be considered a skill? Can it be considered an ability? People may say no, but when they encounter some issue, they will express this kind of disposition. What is this? This is what is meant by ‘the young are brash and arrogant.’ This is what people express” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After I finished reading God’s words, I thought: Aren’t these words of God describing me? This is exactly how I am. I always ignore my grandmother and think that she is stupid. She gets me to help her do many things. When she can’t find a number on her phone, she needs me to help her find it. When she puts her phone on silent, she makes a big fuss and gets me to check whether her phone is broken or not. I remember one instance that made me even more embarrassed. I wanted to connect to the neighbor’s WiFi but I did not know the password. I asked my grandmother to go and ask. In the end, she asked the neighbor, “What is the password for your take-out[a]?” When my grandmother came back, I scolded her. Also, my grandmother has no clue about society’s popular trends and as a result, I view her as foolish. … In fact, this is the manifestation of the brashness and arrogance of youth! If I did not read God’s words, I would still believe that what I was doing was correct and that my grandmother’s thoughts were too outdated and that she was unable to keep up with the times. Today, I believe in God. I cannot be as arrogant and unruly as I was in the past. I must change! Thereupon, I prayed to God, “God. I always look down on my grandmother and think that she is foolish. When she nags me, I become angry. I always feel that my grandmother is unable to understand my thoughts. God, I do not want to be like this. However, I really cannot rely on myself to change. God, please help me!”

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