I used this Sunday for reading a book by Dr Anupam Sibal. Dr Sibal during course of his medical career at Apollo Hospitals, has been closely interacting with kids and their parents and has written the book. The title of book is, ‘Is Your Child Ready to Face the World?’. I started reading the book to satiate my craving for finding ideas to motivate(handle?) my son Tathagat. I had anticipated that that Doctor Sibal would have prescribed some ready-to-eat/digest prescriptions for any parent to handle the kids and adolescent. Very soon I was in for a surprise.
My notion of finding prescriptions for my son was demolished sooner than later and was instead replaced by the prescriptions and knowldege for me! I leaned through the book that a child is like fresh and soft clay and is ready and empowered(by Almighty) intrinsically to face any challenge in the world. It is we, who disrupt their natural propensity to grow and learn. We disappoint them usually with our biases and load them with all the world wise knowledge aimed only to survive and claim more and more of the global resources. We hardly teach them that intrinsically, we all are noble souls and we should strive to find success, but not without clearest priority to happiness. The happiness which comes with being a human who has humility, compassion, emotion, truthfulness, forgiveness, courage, determination, gratitude and capacity of dreaming and not by amassing wealth or topping grades.
I examined my own handling of Tathagat and soon realised that those qualities were not the focus or foundation of my teaching or preaching. They hardly got meaningful references in my talks with him. Dr Sibal quotes Paulo Coelho to remind the futility of preaching, “World is changed by your example and not by your opinion.” Are we not master of giving opinions?
Gandhi’s most famous principle of life was, “Be the Change”. His famous story of not telling a child to leave eating excess jaggery, till he himself had done that, is a perfect example of living by his beliefs. So as a parent, I have to practice, what I want my children to be or to do. Be it honesty or be it humility, courage or dreaming big, or anything else, I have to show my children that I am telling him or her only what I actually preach and practice. If I am discourteous and rude to my subordinate staff, my son will surely judge his younger or inferior peer with contempt and eventually that will culminate in, him handling even old and unproductive parents badly. So after going through this book I realised that I have to get ready first to face my child, instead of him getting ready to face me or the world.
I am now clear that if I am ready, appropriately, to face my child, my child will be ready for sure, to face this world. The title of the book could easily have been, “Whether father of a child Is ready to face his child and the world?” I need to raise myself before I can raise my children.