Folks – starting this week, guest bloggers will be contributing to this blog to share different perspectives on various topics. So if you are someone is passionate about writing on anything under the sun in a simple and non-technical topic, please get in touch with me.
This week’s guest blogger is Preeti Iyer. She is a content specialist in the financial services domain. She has written blogs on topics such as parenting, philanthropy, and spirituality. She also reviews books and occasionally dabbles in poetry.
Today’s blog is on one of my favorite topics- parenting. Here you go
Ten unconventional bequeathals for the coming generations
The first cry! And we are hit by a mixed bag of emotions –
tears of joy, overwhelmed by the arrival of a new member, sleepless nights to
follow, moments of anxiety, host of responsibilities, and the list is endless.
The baby, which has just tiptoed into our lives, needs our full attention and
time, and needs to be nourished, educated, and reared, and taught the right
ways to lead his/her life.
We open several piggy banks for the most precious jewel in
our crown, in the form of fixed deposits, systematic investment plans,
children’s education plans, and invest in long-term assets, including gold,
property, and equities… all this to ensure that every need that can be
envisaged, right from infancy, toddlerhood, basic and higher education, medical
insurance, teenage, marriage, and last but not the least, inheritance.
But hang on!!! If you bequeath a crore of rupees as cash, or
a mausoleum of a house for your child, does that mean you have topped the
University of Parenting? Maybe you have provided for every potential need of
your offspring, but how does this ensure his/her evolution into a
knowledgeable, talented, creative, nature-loving personality.
Here are 10 unconventional bequeathals which can go a long
way in shaping the personality of a child, and making him/her a more
responsible, sensible, sensitive and mature individual.
1. Discovering the joy of reading: The child who reads
today, will be an adult who thinks tomorrow. Introducing your child to the
world of books and joys of reading in the growing years, can probably help them
find their best friend, philosopher and guide for a lifetime. Reading can
nourish their brains, and instill a sense of curiosity and quest for knowledge
and information. A gargantuan library, be it in the form of physical books or
maybe a kindle, can be one of the best assets that several succeeding
generations can also benefit from.
2. Initiating the
love for music: The sapta swaras, when woven together, can produce the most
melodious tunes. Inculcating love for music, helping them learn to sing or play
an instrument, and more importantly, teaching them the right way to appreciate
music and talented musicians, can provide them a calming escapade from their
hectic schedules, and offer access to one of the most effective stress busters.
It doesn’t really matter which school of music they may want to pursue –
Hindustani, Carnatic or Western. End of the day, all forms of music are bound
by the same thread of seven notes. If the love for music culminates into a
passion for dance, that’s equally or even more rewarding. So, how about
extending your CD collection to your children and their families further on?
3. Fostering art and craft: Be it a traditional form of art
like embroidery or crochet work, Warli or Madhubani paintings, or making
murals, or more modern pursuits such as quilling, paper craft, candy stick art,
or beadwork, any form of art and craft fosters creativity and imagination and
offers immense satisfaction. And definitely, every family will have certain
hidden arts and artists, who need to pass on the talent to their younger family
members, so that the legacy can continue.
philanthropy: The joy of giving can only multiply if we ensure our children
understand the need to care for the needy, and provide for them in as many ways
possible. Though companies and hence, employers, these days are becoming more socially
responsible, what could be lacking is the personal touch.
So, take your child to a local orphanage or home for
elderly, and initiate the practice of offering food, clothes, books, and other
items of utility to the inmates. We need to ingrain the fact that these are
individuals who are not less-privileged in any way, but are those with immense
potential and dreams, who only need the means to fulfill their aspirations, may
be in the form of money or valuable guidance and moral support.
5. Building a connoisseur’s paradise: Old is gold and will always remain so. Few
decades ago, many of us and our parents or grandparents loved collecting rare
stamps, coins, photographs or paintings. Whenever someone would pay a visit,
maybe an old acquaintance or a distant relative, we would find great pride in
showcasing our repertoire. However, the current generation of kids rarely
display such inclination or enthusiasm. Perhaps the advent of internet or
technology consumes their mind and mental pace to an extent, that there is less
physical room for accumulating and storing such assets.
antiques and family heirlooms: Can you ever find in the local bazaar or the
virtual e-marketplace, the vessel in which your grandmother made her signature
kheer, or the ancient bell that hung in the courtyard of your father’s home in
his native place? In most of the cases, the answer would probably be no.
Certain things, like wine, become worthier with age. And our family heirlooms
and antique pieces are no exception. The gap however, arises when our progeny
fails to perceive value in such objects because they perhaps do not know how
precious these collectibles are, both in terms of monetary value, and as a
7. Instilling the
need for spirituality and meditation: One of the saddest ironies in today’s
fast-paced, mechanical life is that we try to discover everything around us,
except our own selves. What does it take to take a moment, sit down and pause,
and dwell on our thoughts? Most individuals, especially children and teenagers,
are trapped within walls of peer pressure, advices (some irrelevant or
unsought) and an overload of information on the Internet. If they fail to wake
up to their inner voice and calling, they may end up in the wrong professions
and living someone else’s dream.
Let us introduce our scions to the universal force that
binds all of us, to the ways by which we can reach out to the Almighty, share
our concerns with Him/Her, and find a pathway to peace and equanimity. This could help them identify their strengths
and weaknesses, choose careers that are aligned to their talents and aptitude,
be unruffled by constant challenges or any negative feedback, and remain
grounded to their roots, so as to achieve their goals and reach for the skies.
8. Handing down cherished memories and the Family Tree: Not
sure how many of you would agree with me, but black-and-white pictures of our
parents and grandparents, the ancestral home, the well and cow shed in the
backyard, the paddy fields and plantations, have an unmistakable charm. Why
lose it to hi-tech scans and personal drives of laptops? Why not print them (if
negatives are available), paste them in albums, write down catchy and
meaningful captions, and pass it over to the youth of tomorrow? This could help
them recall and relive those occasions, appreciate and preserve some of the
practices, and maintain tradition and culture.
9. Sharing traditional lip-smacking recipes and culinary
secrets: The secret ingredients that go into the chhole prepared by your
favourite aunt, the recipe for making perfect modaks for Lord Ganesha, or the
tried-and-tested method for making melt-in-the-mouth Mysore Paks… does anyone
know these culinary secrets? This is possibly the only way families can ensure
that the taste of the quintessential Dadimaa ka Khaana lingers forever, not
only in the minds of kith and kin, but also on their tongues. This may also
ensure that the nutritive value of food is well-preserved, and the body gets
the required nourishment, in a world that is increasingly dominated by fast
foods and crash diets.
10.Creating the urge to protect nature and the environment:
If we closely examine our surroundings, environment and nature, we could
comprehend the pressing need to maintain the ecological balance, use natural
resources sparingly, and conserve every drop and aspect of Mother Nature.
Depleting forest areas, climate change and global warming, receding water
levels, and increasing pollution in air and water, may suffocate those stepping
into adulthood few decades later.
So, the answer lies in acting now, before the situation
bommerangs into a global crisis. Let us bequeath the strong urge to protect our
natural resources, and prevent further damage to the environment, to our
children, so that they grow into socially responsible and sensitive human
And after a long blogpost, here is a short disclaimer. The
purpose of penning down this blog was to share some of the ways by which we can
help our successive generation, learn from and preserve the past, sustain their
present and succeed in their future. Feel free to add on to your own list of
bestowments. The list is inexhaustive and options are raised to infinity, if
only we look at the world after taking off the glasses tainted with
materialism, possessiveness, and constant comparison and competition.
Good luck and God bless!!!