An elderly man was planting some oak saplings when a man passing by asked, “Hey old man look at your age. Do you think you will live long enough to see the oak trees” The old man replied, “Many trees have given me shade and fruits- did I plant them? Remember there are people coming behind me too”
The above lines got me thinking….
Are we not the custodians of the next generation?
Yes, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. All the future judges, generals the politicians and the doctors are sitting in the schools and colleges of today. The future of the nation depends on their knowledge, their wisdom, their preparedness to face the challenges of their generation and above all the strength of their character.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An honorable nation emerges when her citizens build their character”.
When does this character building really begin? Well at birth! Yes, the first lessons of character building start right at home. It is the influence of a child’s upbringing that will form the ethos of his character.
History is full of examples of great people who achieved greatness only because of the values their parents instilled in them.
The great Maratha Leader Chatrapathi Shivaji developed his valor and courage from the inspiration he drew from his mother. She would read out stories of courage, valor and virtue from the epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat. She encouraged him to build a character of strength and courage. It was these very qualities that lead him to greatness.
Mughal ruler Humayun lost his kingdom and was reduced to penury. Although he lived in exile, he and his wife instilled values and courage in their son. Mohammed Jalaluddin Akbar not only re-conquered the kingdom they had lost, but went on to consolidate and build the great Mughal Empire and became one of the greatest monarchs of Indian history.
Dear Friends, as parents we can bring about great positive influence on our children. It is for us to work towards inculcating the right habits in them. These habits become permanent and influence their conduct throughout their lives.
While writing these lines, I am reminded about the values that my parents inculcated in my sisters and me. My siblings and I recall how steadfast they remained in their efforts to inculcate values and good habits in all the three of us.
My father was an embodiment of sacrifice and a source of strength for all of us. He provided us the strength and confidence to take on all the challenges. He always gave me the reassurance I needed during my early childhood… a real pillar of strength.
My mother on the other hand was the strict disciplinarian. She gave us the courage and motivation to discover and develop our talents. She encouraged and motivated us to create the habit of reading and writing. She also pushed me to develop a passion for music and also participate in several literary and cultural competitions. These habits that she helped me inculcate has had a huge bearing in shaping my personality.
In addition to their unconditional love, the greatest gift my parents gave us were a set of values. Simple values that helped us differentiate between right and wrong - the good and the bad, a belief in God, the importance of hard work, education, self-respect and love for our country. They instilled in us those values that have lived with all through their lives.
Today as parents, we are striving to pass on this immortal legacy to our children.
Friends, Education is definitely important but it is the values that we impart to our children that make them better citizens.
A person’s character is but the sum total of his education, experience and upbringing. We as parents can make a very significant contribution towards two of the three factors directly. We play a major role in the experiences that our child goes through during his formative years; it is only the parents that can instill ethics, values and morals to our children. We also have a major role in the education that our child gets.
So, we have to pass on that immortal legacy to our posterity to build a bright and brilliant future.
We cannot prepare the future for our youth but we can certainly prepare our youth for the future.
The onus is on us….