"A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son grief to his mother."
My mother always was more critical of me than my father was (and is--they are both still alive!). My mother was always the one who doled out punishment and my father would always be forgiving and would look for a silver lining somewhere.
I have come to realize over the year that these are really two faces of God. God can be all-forgiving to be sure but God also expects a lot of us. Often we try to favor one over the other. God is either a lover OR a judge, but actually God is both. God wants us to do well and to live up to the expectations he has for us to become all that we are, nothing more, but more importantly, nothing less.
My mother would often be the one who would challenge me and would get me involved in things that would stretch me beyond my comfort zones. My dad would be the one who would support me when I found out that perhaps I was not as gifted in say, art or music as some of my friends were. I was not expected to be perfect and my father would let me see that it was OK to fail as long as I tried my best.
And therein lies the main point: At the heart of wisdom lies effort and risk. One has to get beyond fear to make attempts to discover who who really are, to be unafraid to try new things and not to be the fool who simply makes excuses as to why they are unable to make any effort at self-discovery because of pride or fear of embarrassment.
Today we ask ourselves if we indeed became wise as we grew up? Did we really try lots of new things to search our very souls? Was it a mother who encouraged that search and was dad simply a support in that period of self-discovery?