An ideal Son or Daughter
In Chinese culture, a person who is filial and obedient to his parents is regarded as a good son. Confucianism, an ideology that had great effect on the Chinese society, stresses the importance of harmonious interpersonal relations between family members, particularly that between parents and children. Judgment on a man is often based on his attitude toward his parents.
Confucian classics contain many principles regarding the “right” conducts people should have to handle the relation with their parents. For instance, people in the past were required to pay respects to their parents everyday in the morning. Children should follow whatever orders or instructions their parents issued. A person who was most respectful to his parents was highly praised and often set up as a model in the society.
The ancient Chinese thought that there was a connection between the relations within the family and political institutions of the country. They extended the formula of administering a family to social and political affairs. In other words, the Chinese people ran the country on the principles based on family life. The emperor was respected by his subjects as a father was by his children. An official faithful to his lord was often compared to a son filial to his father.
However, China has undergone great changes over the past century. Influenced by western thoughts, the Chinese people have revised and transformed many traditional ideologies and ways of thinking. Parents have no longer had absolute authority over their children. Now young people may stand on an equal relation with their parents and they stress more personal freedom and independence. But the traditional ideology remains to be very influential, a good son who is respectful to and takes cares of his parents is considered by others as one of high moral character.