A diamond gift was presented to them by their children

Perhaps there is no duty whose obligations are more generally acknowledged than filial piety; none that, when performed, yields greater pleasure; and none that, when disregarded, results in a more severe or just punishment. All nations, whether sunk in barbarism or elevated by science, have acknowledged the force and legitimacy of parental claims; and the unfortunate youth who resists them stands convicted, condemned, and reprobated before the world’s tribunal. On the other hand, an eminently obedient child is an object of delight, admiration, and esteem to all who have the opportunity to witness his behavior; he travels through society surrounded by a glory purer than that of fame, and far more conducive to his own comfort; he is a blessing to his parents, and he is a blessing himself. Children, may you all be such, and to that end, I request your undivided attention to the responsibilities outlined in this chapter. The familial obligations are reciprocal. If your parents owe you everything I’ve commanded them to do, how much do you owe your parents? I have been your advocate before them; I am now theirs before you. Consider carefully your relationship with your parents. There is a natural relationship between you two, as they are the means of your very existence, a fact which, as I’ve already stated, seems to endow them with an almost absolute authority over you. The commonality and universality of the bond prevent the mind from pondering its intimacy, tenderness, and sanctity. You are literally a part of your parents, and you cannot reflect for a moment on your origin without being struck by the incredible and solemn weight of responsibility that rests upon you towards your parents.

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