My week 35th started with an official meeting at Lucknow on Monday, giving me an opportunity to spend the previous weekend with the kids. At the start of the week, I read a beautiful quote in HT Lucknow. It said, “Knowledge comes from learning and Wisdom comes from Living.” I read it again to realize the value of the quote. It’s bang on in distinguishing between ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Wisdom’. The former comes from devouring the books as much and as many as you can and also by reading news, periodicals and online sources etc, but the latter comes out of real life i.e. by actual living. Your day-to-day living over the years gives the most valuable lessons of life and also bestows upon you the intellect and knowledge to navigate through the by-lanes of life. You gain wisdom everyday by using the knowledge you have accrued from multiple sources. So wisdom is more important than the bland knowledge. Over the years, as I have grown (I think so!) and continued to read as much as I can (I sometimes read more in a day presently than I used to while appearing in competitive exams). Now as a father for last 17 years, I have found that one of the best usage of your time and knowledge is to share with young and impressionable children the knowledge acquired by you through learning and the wisdom emanating from real life experiences.
Parents do talk to their kids but it is usually about the school and homework and what they ‘should’ become in life (I am writing from my own experiences). On the other hands the kids and specially teenagers are already burdened by expectations of their parents, siblings and teachers. Everybody is talking to them about their future and how can it be improved from good to better and from better to best and even beyond. But in the race to care by preaching and by pressurizing to perform, the overall upbringing of the kids takes a back seat perhaps. He may get some good scores and that is also important, but it’s not the only important thing in life. The increasing rate of depression and BP even in teenagers baffling but quite noticeable. Kids are facing unbearable pressures from all directions with no milestones to refer to, they are cracking up as seen in some unfortunate suicides at coaching factories of Kota. With increasing number of such cases and with more and more studies on the topic, it is better we take note sooner than later at our own home. One can ignore it only at his or her own peril.
The overall development of children in my view depends on discussing and sharing with your children about relationships with your relatives, friends, brothers & sisters and parents and teachers. It is important to give them reference points to evaluate their real bread and butter life issues. You can add to their scores and knowledge by discussing about the global and local events as they are unfolding around the globe. As parents you can create curiosity in them by discussing about diverse issue like about bio-diversity or about gender discrimination in India and female winners at Rio Olympics. These are real issues and unless you handhold your kids, they may develop their ignorance and resultant biases before attaining even adulthood.
It is also important to discuss with them about their health and the latest studies on nutrition like the harmful impacts of processed and junk foods. You can tell them about recent studies, backed by facts on these issues. Encourage them to check on those issues themselves and ask them to discuss again. They will scrutinize the facts and once convinced, will trust you more. They will look forward to spending time with you if you talk to them beyond their scorecards and school ranks. After all nobody would be their better well wishers than their own parents. You have to transfer your hard-earned values through talks and by answering their queries. Don’t forget to give them time and liberty to arrive at their own conclusions. It is better to ‘nudge’ them than to ‘coerce’. I know by now that latter is bound to doom.
As I am writing these words online so that my kids or anybody can read them instantly, I am feeling more convinced to read more and live more so that I gain more wisdom and bequeath for my children not only some perishable property but some nonperishable wisdom as well.