Can our children inspire us?
A couple of decades ago, on my 43rd birthday I was unhappy depressed and examining various ways of ending my life.
Our rather large family owned organisation was in dire straits. We found ourselves trapped in the midst of a terrible economic recession. I was struggling to maintain my sanity and preserve the outstanding image that we as a family had painstakingly built up over several decades. There was no money left in the bank and creditors were hounding us. I regretted so many things, the huge debt we had accumulated to fund our aggressive growth to triple our capacity. The craze to be a global leader in our industry by 2010 etc.
When things turn sour, blame games begin even within families and our family structure had developed deep and irreparable fissures on the issues relating to how best to resolve the crisis. Completely polarised into different sub groups our world was crashing around us.
Normally happy and optimistic, I felt I was at the nadir of my life.
Of course when you head an organisation you can't just back off, the buck stops with with leaders.
Everyone aspires to rise to the top and that is a good thing particularly if we enjoy our contribution. Seniority demands responsibilities that are far greater than the privilege it confers on the holder of rank. So there I sat with my head in my hands on the dining table while my food remained untouched.
Then in walked my our sons Mohit and Pavit returning from their tuitions. They greeted me, hugged me whilst wishing me 'happy birthday' and gave me birthday cards that they had themselves prepared. The cards were very amateurish, but the words were precious beyond any description.
"My friends say, that when they were kids, innocent and non judgemental they all thought their fathers were Supermen, but as they grew up they realised that their dads were not Supermen, but just men".
"I too, when I was little, thought my dad was a Superman, but now that I have turned 16 and am more aware, I still believe that my dad is a Superman. Happy Birthday".
I broke down, wept, hugged and kissed my sons. I realised that while we were teaching our children all about life, they were teaching us what life is all about. The power of trust and faith, my wife and children reposed in me.
I then recalled my wise Uncle Manohar Singh ji’s words “Worrying never solves anything, and does not rob tomorrow of its sorrow, it merely saps today of its strength”.
The message from my sons, was a powerful call to action. They placed me back on the pedestal from which I had stepped down. They provided me inspiration that motivates me even today, to always be an exceptional man, a superman.
Inside each man exists a superman who can and must emerge as situations demand it. To awaken, prod, and bring out this superman is what can be defined as 'Inspiration'.
Written and Posted: March 2023 ~ by Gurvinder Singh
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