Updated: Jun 23, 2020
It is a fallacy, to believe that merely sending our children to school and college, will prepare them for life.
There is no perfect way to prepare the young, but parents and family can play a powerful role, in successfully preparing the young for life.
An approach that facilitates both success and happiness is to enrich the lives of the young. To not stifle them in our bosom, but expose them to life as early as is safe and possible.
This enables the young to learn at the more impactful formative phase of life.
It usually instils in them a sense of independence born out of learning to take responsibility for their thoughts, actions and results.
The young should be acclimatised to the real world at an early age and this is the responsibility of the elders. If we fail to do this,
'The young grow arrogant before they awaken. They become too big to willingly do little things and as a consequence they remain too little to be entrusted with big things'.
It is fashionable to look down upon the business community, but it is their contribution that makes a society prosperous and facilitates its security. That is why 87% of all commercial enterprises worldwide are family owned and contribute a whopping 70% of global GDP.
Since I belong to a business /industrialist family I can share my experience how our elders prepared us for life in that context.
Children, particularly boys, idolise their father and tag along whenever possible.
Our father Man Singh ji and Uncle Manohar Singh ji, were our heroes and teachers. My three brothers and I from childhood spent half of our holidays and weekends either at the office accompanying father or to the factory with uncle.
The journey between home and the workplaces were always filled with stories, legends, humour, anecdotes, current affairs peppered with questions and answers. Time would simply fly by, while getting an education.
At the workplace we walked about the office and surrounding areas, toured the factory and chatted with anyone willing to hold the attention of our curious minds. Sometimes we would be shooed away but mostly they would explain things to us and permit us to assist and lean in some way or the other.
We remained present at numerous meetings with customer and supplier visits, labour and union meetings, government officials etc..
We accompanied dad and uncle on visits to myriad places all over the country. We met with and interacted with all kinds of people, and the exposure gave us a fantastic education. We were subconsciously learning, experiencing real life in a safe environment, developing to a high degree, our social, psychological, technical knowledge, and skills.
Young minds pick up things exceedingly fast, and our elders kept us busy learning by assigning us tasks. With time, as confidence in ourselves and by our elders grew, tasks became more serious and important in nature.
All this education was done concurrently along with our formal education with each brother following his particular penchant and interest. Parvinder and I chose to become engineers while Varinder and Paramjeet pursued areas of commerce, law, and finance.
The symbiosis of the real world and the academic world permitted us to apply learning to life more readily and effectively.
Our father and Uncle were always there to correct, guide and sometimes reprimand us, and they did this in a fairly patient way.
Just like a bubbly stream we youngsters, effortlessly and happily merged completely into the big and deep river of our family, the business and life in general.
As my uncle said, 'You are new strands braided into the old rope and fabric, reinforcing and adding colour to the traditional.
By the time we were 16 years of age, we had a good understanding of our business. By age eighteen, we could accomplish what a seasoned worker, engineer and manager would be capable of after 10 to 15 years of experience.
Therefore when we formally joined the business, we had already established our credentials as competent, sincere, dynamic, hardworking and result oriented team members. The investment by our elders enabled us to earn the amused respect and grudging support not only of our own employees, but that of numerous business associates.
I applied a similar approach with our own sons Mohit and Pavit. I am pleased to say the results were much better and fulfilling than I could have ever hoped for.
Each individual contributes to humanity in some way or the other. Investment by elders in the young will always yield a better humanity.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Related Link: Are Business People, Vulgar? - Guru Wonder