Familiar instances around us; to name just a few of them:
In the temple, in front of the Archana Ticket Counter – What do we see? An uncouth human being – bypasses the numbers waiting in the queue, pushes his/her way up the queue, tries to squeeze in cunningly into a small gap left inadvertently by a queue member, not bothered about the ones patiently standing by. Where is the patience, the consideration for others and the ‘fair’ component?
In the bus or train: everybody holding dear the seat he/she occupies, procured, probably after a heavy pull and push. An elderly person, a handicapped person, a pregnant woman, a lady with child in her arms someone with a heavy luggage on his hands – who cares to offer these people their seat? Why should I? I owe my right to my seat, right?
A luxurious car is rolling by. Suddenly, the windows roll down – out come popping, empty wrappers, paper cups, food leftover packs – all littering the road. Who cares? Whose road, anyway? Definitely, not my property. The car is mine, not the road. I cannot discard my litter later, I cannot keep it in my car, even for a moment. Whoosh! Out. My child gets a new dress on all special occasions, on all days of festivities. Why, sometimes even without a cause! I get into a shopping spree for no good reason. I splurge money on dresses. Fine. But have I ever thought of clearing my wardrobe – donating clothes I have got bored with? Donating my child’s clothes – he/she has outgrown? Donating clothes which may have slightly lost their sheen and colour? I need to think twice, why sometimes, many times! I don’t have the heart to, you see.
‘charity begins at home’ – it would do well to remember this fast fading mantra. I have enough heads to spend on. Where is the inclination to spend on the head ‘charity’? My liabilities are mounting up day by day. Where will money come from for charity, No way! Do you think money grows on trees? I slog, I earn, I enjoy. And then, I am also skeptical. Even if I donate in charity what guarantee that all goes for noble cause? There are swindling survivors all up the way, before it reaches the deserving ones. The money will serve best only if in my pocket.
Vidya Dhan – Wealth of education
Vidya Dhan – Charity of education
Two noble entities – how much of it I posses and how much of it I give to others in charity? Free education, may be in a small way, nevertheless – a fast disappearing value.
In school, we have this concept of ‘Each one-Teach one’. One older child is mentor to a younger one. This concept creates wonder in my school. We encourage the older ones to spend twenty minutes every day, teaching and helping a smaller kid to complete his/her school task. This has greatly helped both the young and the old, the latter building great self confidence as well as gaining mastery over his fundamentals – facts and figures. A dull or less enthusiastic child also benefits out of such an activity.
In parenting our children, one motive is very clear – we want our child to be successful in life. Whether they groom as good human beings stays only a matter of choice, not a matter of option.
Just as pain is an option but suffering is a choice according to the Zen philosophy, so also rearing successful individuals is an option while moulding them into good human beings is a matter of choice. The choice we make decides our destiny in life. Making the right choices is each one’s prerogative.
Instilling the right values in our child is teaching our child the way OF life. Teaching him to be successful is teaching our child the way TO life. It is not wrong to be an achiever but to achieve great things while yet upholding the great and right values of living is the greatest achievement of all – to be a truly successful achiever.
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