When you listen to the song, "Cats and the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, all it may be is just be a catchy tune or a self-explanatory message. However, in my opinion, the message of this song is more important currently than many people realize.
We live in a fast-paced world, full of technology and impatience, where it is easy to forget about a simple joyful time, away from all of the craziness. When we remove ourselves from that joy and pay attention to what we think might be more important, we lose sight of it, and it could lead to a loss of something significant that could impact the way our lives are headed.
For the purpose of this song, a father missed important periods of his son’s life because he chose to be more focused on his job. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents that balanced their work and taking care of me and my brothers. However, it was never easy for them and still isn’t! The father in this song, I would say, took an easier route because he focused more of his energy on trying to be good at his job instead of caring about his son’s milestones.
The easier route is not necessarily always the correct route for many parents because they want to be present in their child’s life but they also want to perform their job well, and put food on the table from performing that job well. Even though I am not a mother yet, I know from what my parents have taught me that, when you have a child, everything else you do is almost like background noise including your own physical being.
Your child should be the most important thing in the world to you from the beginning of when they are born, because when they grow up, if you don’t spend time with that child, they will eventually make you will feel sorry that you didn’t.
Therefore, I feel as if the purpose of this song is not so self-explanatory because throughout the years I’ve listened to it, it has made me think about what I value more, and the type of occupation I want to reach for in a couple of years based on my thoughts of what may happen in my future. It also makes me appreciate how much my parents work so my brothers and I could have a great life, as well as, how much they actually care enough to put work aside unlike the father in this song.
Because my parents raised my brothers and me to balance our lives like they do, we understand that lifestyle more than solely wanting money and not caring about family so much. Many people will want to value their job more as they grow and that’s okay, but if you think the right way to live your life is to put your own goals before basking in someone else’s then you probably will grow to be very unhappy because eventually you will want other people to support you when you finally get to where you dream of going.
Harry Chapin makes an excellent point in this song that the main ingredient to a good life is balanced and I believe that is a message that is timeless.
If you have never heard of his song, I would encourage you to take time out of your day to listen to it. It may make your view your present and future life differently… and if not it’s still a great song!