May 16, 2013

Shaping our Stalwarts

Posted in Generosity tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:15 pm by Venus Viswambharan

 

strong and free2 I was waiting for my lil daughter just outside her drama class. As I waited I saw a few little men having a grave discussion. One 4-year old sitting inside his van that drops him home, says  to another boy waiting outside “ How old are you ? “ very proudly the fella states “5 years old” . The boy in the van with his chest swelling points to another little friend and replies “well my mate here is 6 years old , right ? aren’t you elder to him? “. At this the 5-year old who couldn’t bear to be any less  grapples for data from his memory and shoots “ my sister is 10 years old!” and the boy in the van retorts with certain indignation “but my sister is 20 “ . The 5-year old pauses for a second, then retorts ” no she can’t be !” And the discussion goes  on…

What does one infer? They are just 4-6 year olds? Why would they want to be better than the other ? Does making another feel inferior make them mighty? Kids of that age were to be full of unbridled energy , fun and joy… when one hurt and healed quickly ,very resilient … Sound of bubbly  laughter and such images are what flood my eyes when I close them….

It bought back a little memory a few weeks old :

One particular girl was ostracized from a whole set of kids who were playing a zippy game of Kho  Kho because she was calling them names. The other girls very emphatically refused to let her play because she was the archetypal “ bad” kid. In fact they stated clear conditions to me saying if they were to continue playing they very clearly did not want the “bad” kid joining in.

some thought lingering in my mind:

What is Bad and good? Was the girl bad or were her actions bad? Do we handle the “bad” by snubbing or cutting off people? What happened to simple wholesome communication? why are we unable to reach out and tell some one they have hurt us without hurting them or giving it back to them in equal or stronger measure?

Still more memories float in …

A few months back I had watched 2 parents sling words at each other because their kids fought :

Each parent tallying the number of times the other parent’s kid humiliated , hurt or misbehaved with her own kid . Each parent boorishly ,contemptuously and very publicly  faced the other . Eventually they began blaming and garnering the hate they held against each other . Each raked their own dark , fetid recesses of  storage devices – their memory , for all the past blunders and faults the other committed and conclusively cut off relations with each other and barred their kids to continue any semblance of acquaintanceship with each other

Questions I ask myself:

Aren’t we as adults supposed to support, strengthen and build stalwarts? We glorify and applaud the” brave”. But is being brave being overbearing , being a bully, being mighty?

Aren’t we supposed to nurture tenacious adults , With the strength of tolerating each others’ difference, with the patience and courage to look into the eyes of the friend and seek where they are coming from , what is it that their dear friend is carrying, why their friend is behaving way they do?

Aren’t we supposed to instill humility in these kids to be able to hold back the importance of “me” for a few moments so as to enable reaching out to hold up this other friend – who is also an integral part of this “me”?

When did running off , exiling someone or cutting off relations emerge as a solution? Are these the characteristics of a dauntless sturdy individual?

And since when did we see “our kid” as our sole responsibility? We have always endorsed and adulated  “charity” but are unable to hold our child’s friend and give him /her strength to face a situation , to explain . We are incapable of a little benevolence to be able to ourselves reach out, to tolerate and in the process pour these qualities into their little hearts?

When our child is hurting , hurting with them is understandable , but turning that to hate , when did that become a solution? What does that heal?

What is it our children are learning? Don’t they emulate sharply just what we portray?

How can we  contribute towards shaping young, robust Stalwarts?

December 6, 2010

Operation “Clean the fan”

Posted in Empowering tagged , , , , , , at 8:03 pm by Venus Viswambharan

I was mentally chewing  gum named: “ How would I go about it ‘? Was it as simple as “Im going to clean the fan” ?

This dirty Fan that I had grown familiar to ,and in time immune to ,which only seemed to accumulate dust was not stirring any trouble inside my head , only because I had knit up enough excuses mentally for me to feel “its ok”. Some of them being: Its too high up there , I cannot reach it , no ladder high enough, the cleaning is going to mess our beds, Its cumbersome, I have other more pressing issues, I don’t have the time…. Etc.  It hung just above our beds, I saw it every time I awoke and every time I went to sleep but not once did it worry me. Well, now I was working up a strategy on the shortest, immaculate way to get it done. Why? because my friend told me last night in all honesty how dirty it looked. It finally hit home. Some well intentioned person pointed the proverbial “finger” at the dirty fan!

So my maid and I worked out a strategy : We covered the beds with newspapers. She then climbed a huge stool and wiped each blade carefully with antiseptic solution and with each turn of her hand there was this comforting feeling (…dare I say relief ? )and each time lumps of black grime came off, revealing the clean ,shinning, original fan beneath . Each time she did that there was a cheering inside and an amazing excitement advancing to the final vision of my beautiful , pristine fan!

At the end of it , what kept dawning on me-  was the fact that is exactly what we do with  our minds…

We have cobwebs accumulating: “She is so irritating”. “He  doesn’t seem to respect my opinions” . ‘I know why she didn’t return my call. ” “ He is so selfish”. “ I can’t trust her”. “I know what he thinks of me”… they come with no restraint, quite naturally (just like the dust)… gathering but not contributing to any worry identical to the dirt on the fan. The excuses too would be  similar “I can see he is plainly this way, hence I speak of him so”. “What will they think of me?”  “ I  need to complain” etc…

If someone did point a finger- oh how we hate it. But the minute we make up our minds to “clean each blade”…(metaphorically) wipe each thought clean, and make sure we contribute to thinking wholesome ones – those that build up, that are loving, patient , positive thoughts about others and everything around us ; The minute we use the Antiseptic of faith to clean the negativity and fear, we see goodness ! We see things we could be grateful about in others and in ourselves , things that are now hidden by the grime filtered vision. We see the original me (which is inherent) cleaving through the soot and being revealed . Oh and the unbounded excitement on the achievement  of the same is akin to that one feels in the fan scenario.

Imagine, it is as simple as cleaning the fan !

We are INNATELY BEAUTIFUL, Just a little cleaning is what we need to do regularly….

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