2018 is a year of ACCEPTANCE

acceptance - feeding

A few days ago, my daughter came home, quite upset. When I asked her the reason, she told me with her eyes shining with unshed tears, “X didn’t invite me to her birthday party. They are going to Kidzania!” And those tears finally came rushing down her cheeks.

I asked calmly, “So what?”

“But, I had invited her to mine!” She cried.

I told her, “Yes, because you wanted to invite her. It doesn’t mean she would have to invite you as well!”

A genuine pearl of wisdom, I must admit. However, it was easier said than understood. Well, I couldn’t possibly make my 6-year-old understand that people work in mysterious ways. You can’t expect people to act as you want them to.

As I said easier said than understood. Not only by my little girl, but also by me.

I have had my heart broken quite a few number of times when I wrongly assumed people would reciprocate my feelings in exactly the same way I feel for them or go out of my way for them. It bothered me to see that they were happy in the ignorance that their behaviour actually affected me. Don’t think I have not reprimanded myself for being an idiot time and again. But, it’s like my previous numerous experiences from my teens and 20s have failed to teach me anything.

I started bothering me a lot. Very soon, I will enter 40s, and I realized that I can’t carry on like this anymore. I needed to change myself, and fast. So, I started introspecting. And, even started practising meditation.

So, this year, I want to do these few things:

Stop complaining. This is the first and the most important step. Stop complaining about how people are. They were that way and they would always be. They are just being themselves, so stop making them out to be monsters.

Accept people as they are. Whether it is my mother in law, sister in law, friend or even my husband, they all are different people. And it’s up to me to accept that they are different in the way they are made up, they think and act.

Wish happiness. As a small child, I was very possessive of my friends. My friend is mine alone. Well, as you grow up, you realize you cannot possess people; not even your child, let alone your friend. But, yes, you can wish them happiness wherever they are and with whomsoever they are with.

Accept myself. It’s no use accepting people, if you don’t accept yourself first. I have come to accept myself the way I am. I realized that my whole approach towards looking at things was incorrect. I cannot force people to be like me. I am different, and so is everybody. And the best way to live a happy life is to accept that difference. People are different, and they should be. But, that shouldn’t stop you from being you.

Don’t change. Just because someone is not nice to you, shouldn’t make you lose your niceness. You are a good person, and let not the society touch you.

Stay away from people who don’t care. Accepting people the way they are is fine, but that doesn’t mean they can treat you anyway they want to. There is a fine line between being nice and losing self-respect. Stay away from people who genuinely do not care for you.

I am a great believer of the life values of Bhagavad Gita. And Gita says, “Perform your actions. Don’t worry about the outcome”. It’s difficult, but not impossible.

Every new day is for new learnings. I have a whole new year to learn. I just hope I learn my lesson well.

So, let’s cheer 2018 to acceptance and a happier, wiser life!

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Should parenting values change for the new generation?

As my little one is growing up, I am having a lot of sleepless nights. The cause: what type of parenting values should I give to my child?

parentingvalues

During my growing up years, my parents would tell:

  • Do not tell lies. The truth shall always prevail.
  • Do not think ill of others/do bad to others. What goes around comes around!
  • Don’t be selfish. Help others in need.
  • Be pleasant and friendly to everyone.
  • Respect people.
  • Share your things with others.
  • Adopt qualities like Lord Rama.

They are all sound advice and most of them still hold true in today’s world. Yes, only most of them. There are a few which need to be revised or tailored as per today’s needs. With every parenting value above, there is a clause attached.

Do no tell lies: We tell our kids not to lie ever, don’t we? But then we lie in front of them for every small thing. Like, when we skip work for one day to attend a family wedding and call up the superior saying ‘I am not well’. What sort of teaching are we giving to our child? We are teaching him to lie. Or at best, we are teaching him that such white lies are harmless, hence perfectly ok?

Do not harm anybody: What if a bully hurt your child on the playground? Will you still teach your child to not harm him? I remember my mother telling me don’t bother, God will punish him for his wrong-doing. The problem is that with today’s generation who wants results there and then, it’s cold comfort. They are not going to wait forever for the God to punish the bully.

Be pleasant and friendly: Yes, that’s a good advice. But in case, somebody is nasty to you, what then?

Learn to say ‘No’: My parents brought me up in such a way that it’s very difficult for me to say no to people and most often than not, I end up saying ‘yes’ even when I mean ‘no’. And when I do say ‘no’, I feel guilty later. I don’t want that to happen to my child. She needs to be assertive.

Respect people: Which people? We need to be very specific. Kids are very smart. Since a very young age, they start gathering a little understanding about people. Who is good, who is bad? They start forming their own opinion. It will be very difficult for him to respect someone who has been mean to you or him.

Be like Lord Rama: I am not sure if anybody says that to their kids anymore. Lord Rama is called as the ‘best among the men’ because of his (unworldly) virtues like indefinite patience, ability to forgive, keeping difficult promises, always putting others before his own needs etc. Now tell me, if you tell the kids to do that, will they?

These values look very appealing in a book, but can we live life as per bookish rules? Do these still hold as true as in the bygone era? Life is all about survival and we all know only the fittest survives. So can I take a chance with my kid being innocent, soft and emotional who gets taken for a ride?

No, I need to make her strong and street smart; a citizen of this world who:

  • Will lie if it’s absolutely necessary and doesn’t harm anybody. She should of course know the difference when and where the lie is appropriate.
  • Will be nice and respectful to people who reciprocate.
  • Will not be a softie who gets exploited for her goodness and generosity.
  • Will help people but not at the cost of her safety and security.
  • Imbibe qualities like Lord Rama. No way! Mythological characters can’t survive in the present world.

I know what I have written is controversial. But all that I have written has come from first-hand experience. A nice person is not always seen in favourable light in this world. Even though Bhagvad Gita teaches you to just do your karma or action and forget about the results; it’s really difficult to apply in your life.

Let me know your thoughts on this matter. What parenting values you are giving to your kid(s)? Are you happy with the results?