Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Most of my life has been devoted to my two passions, my family and my work. My family was adjusting, understanding and loving whereas my work was demanding, and unforgiving.
When they were young, I tried to spend as much time as possible with the children of our large joint family. It's only now, that I realise the great impact our children had on enriching my life with joy and providing me powerful lessons about life which I had both consciously and subconsciously imbibed.
Now 64, I get to spend a lot of time with my two grandsons. We play, chase one another, wrestle, garden, and do lots of other things together. Together we build and deconstruct ideas, thoughts and things, we explore the world and without realising it land up discovering ourselves. The little 'toofans' tire me out physically but refresh me emotionally and intellectually.
We assume children know nothing, so 'what can they teach us?'
While we are busy filling their minds and hearts with facts and figures, biases and rigidity, our children are teaching us about play, flexibility, friendship and unconditional love.
Children, they are almost always happy doing nothing and yet everything. Playing games, chasing birds and butterflies, petting animals, admiring flowers or their mothers. They live in the rainbow of life.
Their spirit is focussed on the present, unconcerned about tomorrow, nor looking back at yesterday. This is how it is, and should always be.
Children are clever manipulators, crying, pouting, or not cooperating when they want something, but they do this for obtaining innocent little things and receiving attention.
The seemingly inexhaustible physical and mental energy, zest and curiosity of children is simply amazing. While we teach children about life, they teach us what life is all about. We try to make them this or that, sportspersons and intellectuals, they make us realise that we are human.
Why can't we adults also remain child-like?
We can't keep up, even if we try, for they have the zest, stamina and speed of youth. Yet we insist on trying to hold them back, cautioning, reasoning and mostly restraining them. They will experiment constantly because they have the passion and the curiosity. They will do the unthinkable with or without our consent behind our backs when we are out of sight, or they will outright rebel, but they have wings and fly they will.
We have to remember that almost all great initiatives, inventions, ideas, have originated with the youth, and rarely from the old.
What can we elders do?
Give children values, teach them by example the importance of health, respect for all beings, creatures and things thus imbibing in them the respect for oneself. Demonstrate to them the value of silence, friendship, love, compassion and forbearance. To be active in the world and yet be comfortable being alone.
We parents stand behind them and watch over them as they take off. When they cross over the horizon of our vision, we still send them our love and always our good wishes, for their health, happiness and success.
While we are teaching our children to be suspicious, mundane, organised, obedient, careful, etc. they are teaching us to be innovative, creative, carefree, loving, spontaneous, innocent, trusting and friendly.
Now aren't these qualities worth remembering and restoring by us?
Begin to live ~ Guru Wonder
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Extract from my upcoming book on 'Achieving Success and Realising Happiness'