My Dad and his Old, Trusted Radio

My dad has a radio; a radio that has defied the rules of nature and managed to stay in one piece till this very moment. As far as I can remember my childhood, this radio has been catered for and loved by my dad. I often wondered as a teenager if my dad understood how embarrassing it was for his teenage children that he still carried this old  radio around, with its antenna stretched. Every morning, the hum of this radio woke us all, in the evenings, it kept us company with international news, and even when we were stuck in traffic, my dad brought out his old and trusted radio, stretched out the antenna and enjoyed himself. We soon came to the hard realization that my dad had no plans of parting with his radio. Our conclusion was not as a result of lack of trial. Oh we tried…we bought iPod docks and iPods, we bought modern day CD players, and even tried our best to convince him to give these new gadgets a shot but he didn’t budge, and we know he’s not going to anytime soon so really, we have decided to let him be.

I recently had nostalgic thoughts of home, and I found myself laughing at the many times my siblings and I were exasperated because of dad’s old and trusted radio. In the midst of my laughter, I learned a lesson: my dad’s loyalty to his old and trusted radio is something we should emulate in our relationships.

Aren’t we all like my dad’s old and trusted radio? I mean aren’t our partners just like dad’s old radio? Fancy when we first meet them, in vogue, keeping up with all the trends, fit and firm bodies, and generally wrinkle-free? But as time goes on, they age, the beauty fades, and the bodies change. They take some battering from life and we realize they just can’t stay wrinkle-free forever. Women have kids and develop stretch marks against their will, they gain weight against their will, and with everything so busy, there just isn’t enough time to look like Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez. Men also change, although women are more more tolerant to that fact. They develop pot bellies, and begin to snore like the coal trains from back in the day. This is not to say we become less attractive as we age, but we certainly change, and sometimes our partners or even us ourselves get irritated by the changing and  aging…

So we seek newer models; younger versions that look and feel better. Younger versions that are still in vogue because suddenly we believe our partners who are now like old radios need to be replaced. We let our eyes wander and we feed our desire for ‘something different’, something better than that ‘old hag’ who is always standing over the stove cooking, she doesn’t even do her manicure anymore, or that ‘fat pig’ who is too tired after a hard day at work and just snores all night. Of course it would be easier to just dump this ‘piece of garbage’ and go for a newer model…. Dad’s love for his radio taught me differently.

See, I learned that the reason dad never gave up on his radio and went to any lengths to fix it when it was broken was because dad was well aware of what his radio was made of. You see, my dad is a retired telecommunications engineer who was into the development of electronics at some point, so he knew for sure what his radio had in it. He valued what his radio was made of, and he cared for his radio genuinely. I often found him polishing it and cleaning off the dust particles that clung to the speakers, and everyday when dad left the house with his radio, it was shiny and sparkly.

Take a lesson from my dad and his old trusted radio. Instead of dumping that ‘old hag’ or that ‘fat pig’, start caring for them, Starting polishing them and removing the dust particles. Switching to a newer model? Not worth the stress; that newer model will come with bugs, and require regular operating system updates that your old model does not require, because your old model is built to last for life…if only you’d care for it.

Relieve your partner where you can, share his or her burden. Be a pillar of positive encouragement and care genuinely like you’d like to be cared for. Remember why you chose that person in the first place, the priceless values they possess and the light you saw in them that attracted you. Of course they will age, you’ll get used to being with this same person, you may even get tired of being with this person while your colleagues seem to constantly flash their newer models in your face, but remember, newer models will age too, they will become annoying and they will probably not be made up of the solid stuff your older model had. XOXO