February 19, 2018

What is Success?

What is the meaning of being successful?

What is it to be a success in life?

We all want our children to be successful, what do we actually mean by it?

Do you think success is happiness?

Do you think success is having enough money to lead happy life?

Do you think success is living a rich lifestyle?

Sadly, the term success has been synonymously used with the salary a person draws or the rank that a child scores.

The very definition of success or happiness is being misrepresented to a child when the parent starts attributing happiness to the marks that the child scores.

Are we happy with something that we get or are we originally, intrinsically happy from the inside?

Our souls are filled with happiness. Remember when we were babies and all that we craved for is the emotional connect with primary caretaker. We didn't care a bit of how the world was or where the world was going to. We were happy. Doing what we wished to and feeling happy all the way. Starting from a certain point in life, either from family or friends, we start attributing external factors as reasons for happiness. We start looking for reasons to be happy. And as a parent, you show to your child that we are not always happy from the inside and keep looking for reasons to be happy in life.

A child who scored in top 10 ranks in the 10th grade is termed as being a success compared to the child who scored 50th rank. Who knows, how successful the 50 rank scorer would be in his life, may be successful in a holistic way of living and not by just memorising to score marks or stressing out his job to earn money? So, is success only related to the marks a child scores? Is success only related to the salary a person draws in his adulthood?

Is success only for those who do the tech-jobs and earn the highest? Is success only for those who have the money to spend on party lifestyle? Work on weekdays and party on weekends - is this all to our life?

There are so many parameters for healthy and holistic living. Once we only attribute the marks and salary as meaning of success, we outrightly, knowingly or unknowingly, deny that no other attribute of a person is as important as the one that gets good marks/good salary. Is this what life is all about? Is this what we all are in, the rat-race? Is this what we are showing our children to be in?

Honestly, speaking, I am running out of words to actually explain what life is and what success to life is. Maybe it is something that one should realise and cannot be put in words.

Just some factors that I can think of, as including in one's healthy lifestyle are:

  • Mindful living
  • Environment - Conscious living
    • Avoid plastic
    • Reduce waste
    • ReUse waste
    • Using chemical free substances
  • Being empathetic
  • Knowing one's own self - Meditation being a way to it
  • Growing food
  • Knowing and Being with nature
Are we leading, in any closest way possible, the healthy/holistic lifestyle so that it passes on to the next generation? What are we proving to them? That, material joys are all that we aim for, earning money is the ultimate goal in life, earning enough money to satisfy our material goals gives us happiness? And remember, there no 'enough' money for material goals, it is a vicious circle, once in the rat-race, it takes lot of realisation and effort to come out of the rat-race and carve a path for yourself. 

Could we spend 10 mins everyday on how we spend our day, on our own lifestyle and try to bring in just one change say every week? We could have our own goals, but, CHANGE is good, right? And, change for the benefit of self, our children, our neighbours, our environment, our nature, our planet is GOOD, isn't it?

Recommended read: https://blog.thestoryof.org/the-paradox-of-learning-in-the-21st-century-75a0e35cb013


February 11, 2018

Let the child be

In our rush to get things done, we constantly use phrases like 'she has already finished her meal, you eat fast', 'she is eating it, you should also eat', 'she wore her sandals, you should also wear sandals instead of slippers', 'this one does not match your dress, pick the other one', 'oh, is there anyone who dresses like that?', 'people would laugh at you if you wear that'.

A child who has never known what comparison is, who has never known to live by looking at others, who has never known to choose based on external factors is being introduced to the concept of comparison, looking at others and dressing similarly, choosing based on not what we want to do but by what the society wants us to do.

Why can't the parent let the child be a free-thinker. 
Why is it hard to say 'ok, you can choose your shirt and pant', do we fear about what others would think looking at our child? 
Are we concerned to let the child think what she wants to at any moment? 
Why is it hard to say 'Ok, you tell me what you want to eat, you tell me how you want to play'. 
Do you fear that if the child wears a mismatched(in your perception) dress at 4 yr age would continue wearing mismatched dresses when 6 yrs, 10 yrs, 15 yrs too?

What are we fearing? 
Why don't we let the child be her own self?
Are we living in fear?
Are we living in rush?
Are we letting our self just be at the moment?
Are we letting our children to just be at the moment?


Being mindful

The wise DD1 handling the tiny chaos with a breeze.
DD2 (months old) cries for a while in the car.
Me: trying out various ways to calm her.
DD1: sings softly ' twinkle twinkle'
DD2: calms down to sleep
Children are such wonder!
DD2(with actions, no speech yet): keeps asking for something
Me: with million thoughts in my head(clearly my mind was not present at that moment) do not understand what's happening.
DD1 says 'She wants this' and hands it over to the little sister.
DD2 walks away.
Children are naturally mindful until we, the external beings start disturbing their calmness by over-parenting.
Grandfather having his lunch.
DD2 keeps playing with the rice, dal in his plate. Because I just changed her dress I try to pull her aside for some other play.
DD2: starts to cry asking for the same
DD1: Why is sister crying?
Me: She wants to take the rice, dal and food from grandfather's plate
DD1: Then, you can give her some rice in another plate na? She will sit and eat from that plate only.
Me: OMG. yes, I could have done it. Thanks.
Sometimes, our minds are so preoccupied with thoughts, fears, beliefs that we start to create logics behind every act of a child. If this then that, if this is done then that happens.
We try to operate at the child's level with a pre-set aim in mind.
The best solution to any chaotic situation is to let the child be and connect with the child, not control the child. Then you are sure to find just the one solution that you need for that moment!