The most important thing that I wanted to teach my daughter was how to live happily rather than believing that securing ones future financially is the only door to happiness.
I had imagined having conversations which I would be having with my daughter at every stage of her life even before she was born. Conversations that would help her build a blissful life.
When she is ten year old – “It’s one of the most beautiful phases of your life. You will now be taking more efforts to make lots of friends which would really be a good thing to be doing. But I want you to understand that in the process; don’t start categorizing your school mates into good or bad. In short I mean don’t judge anybody ever. Every individual grows under a certain set of values and culture. So it would be wrong on our part to make judgments. A certain quality in someone can be liked by a few and the same quality can be disliked by someone else. No person is ever perfect.
And If I have to give you an example of what I’m trying to stay, I’d like to remind you of our visit to the nursery last weekend. I was delighted to see you enjoying and appreciating all the plants and particularly the incident with the roses. When I said, don’t touch the roses, you might hurt yourself with the thorns, you quickly replied that I will be careful with the thorns dad, but I really want to hold the rose and smell its fragrance. That’s exactly the point that I’m coming to. Just be careful about the thorns in the real world and at the same time try to see the good in everything and everybody. If you practice such a mindset, you will automatically get rid of expectations. Expectations when not fulfilled causes deep pain and problems in ones life. So learn to accept a person as he or she is”. I didn’t know if she understood what I was getting at, but she waved bye saying, “Papa I love you. You are the best.”
When she is sixteen year old – “I am so proud of you my little girl. But lately I have been noticing that you seem to be little disturbed. May I know what is it about”? She says, “You are right dad, how do you read me so well, huh? I am so confused with my career ahead. All my friends have started to shortlist their colleges, it seems like they already know which profession to choose. And I’m sailing like a lost ship in the vast ocean. I don’t know what I need to be doing”.
My wife jumped in and said, “neither did your dad know what he wanted to do. He just towed along with his friends unsure of his own interests. Had he pursued his interests rather than his fears his early adulthood would have been more worthful”. I agreed to what my wife said and I added, “what your maa says is very true. But someone had rightly advised me that everything good or bad that happens in one’s life is nothing but experiences that teaches us positive life lessons. As Steve Jobs had pointed that, just go with the flow and one day when you turn back you will be in a position to connect the dots”.
“So don’t worry about the unborn future. Believe in yourself and give your best shot in the present. It’s like when you grow a plant you give everything that it needs without calculating the number of flowers or fruits that it would give. Likewise, live in the present, hone your skills, be honest, stay positive, share love and happiness, be kind and most importantly be forgiving. The rest would fall in place all by itself”. The smile on her face and gleam in her eyes was assuring me that she was able to understand what I was trying to convey and I was glad to be able to help my daughter.
When she is twenty four year old – My little girl had grown so fast that I didn’t realize that she would very soon be getting married. So one evening when we were all having dinner together, she said, “Mom and dad I want to share something with both of you”. We were expecting her to share about shifting her job and moving to a new city which we had been discussing at home lately. But what she said next filled our hearts with joy. She said, “I like a guy at our work place and we have been good friends for the past one year. I did like you guys to meet him first and then we take this further.” We were proud parents learning that our daughter still trusted us with her life decisions. So she started filling us up with all the details about the guy, how it all started and what was great about him and both of us were curiously asking her one question after the other. We had always been more like three friends under one roof sharing honesty, respect, gratitude and love.
So after a week while driving her down to work, my daughter shared something that swelled my heart with pride learning that both of us as parents had given our daughter the right values rather than materialistic values which led her to share something so beautiful.
She said, “Dad, I am glad that both you and mom liked him. I wouldn’t say that we are perfect for one another as there is no relationship that has two perfect people. But when we both are together, everything seems just about right and good. The best thing about him is that he is a very content man. It doesn’t mean he earns less, he earns enough for a decent survival, just that his income cannot afford luxuries which I totally understand and I am okay with. He is very humble and soft and I am sure you loved his humor when you last met him. Didn’t you? Oh dad, there is so much to talk about him. I hope I am not bugging you up. Anyways, I did like you to know that with him it’s less greed more laughs, less anger more forgiveness, less regret more hope, less grudges more love. He is like the sunshine of my life.”
I was very happy for my little girl and also as a dad most importantly I wasn’t expecting her to marry someone who could buy her diamonds, take her to the best of vacations, own an expensive house with fancy furniture and give her all the comfort that money could buy. I just wanted her to marry someone who understands that life’s real happiness lies in valuable experiences and not in expensive experiences.
Well I couldn’t have any such above conversations with my daughter as my wife had a miscarriage. But the unborn child left a message saying, “Dad what has to stay with you will be with you. Don’t be sad. Accept what life throws at you because everything happens for a reason. I love you”.