Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THE KARATE KIDS AND THE BLACK-BELT PARENTS





















“My idea of superwoman is
someone who scrubs her own floors.”

— Bette Midler

Let me not confuse you: This post is not about a ‘superwoman’, or, for that matter, not even about a ‘woman’… It is just about learning to do some of our own daily chores, early in life, and feel ‘strong’, ‘confident’, ‘independent’ and yes, ‘good’… about ourselves.

Some days ago, I was a witness to an interesting discussion. A man was proudly telling us about the series of belts his teenager had achieved through rigorously attending Karate classes. The teenager was about the age 15. The father said, “Every kid, boy or a girl, must compulsorily learn some form of Martial Arts for self-defence and self-dependence.”

“Who washes your 15-year-old Karate-kid’s undies?” the gentleman next to the father (obviously his good pal, who knew the household better than I did!) quipped…

The mother did!

As I told you, this Post is not about women, men, boys, girls, grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts… It is about, learning to do some of our daily chores, early in life, and feel ‘strong’, ‘confident’, ‘independent’ and yes, ‘good’… about ourselves…

Yes, feel like a triple Black-belt (If such a belt exits… I have no idea!)!

In my case – and, I am 58 now… I can wash not only my undies, I can also wash the whole basket of dirty clothes piled up there…

I can make tea, coffee, some decent food for me, my wife and son (If not for others!)…

I can iron my clothes… dry them, fold them, tuck them properly in wardrobes…

I can clean up all the vessels in the sink… reheat old food and bring for my tiffin… By the way, the old chapattis don’t make me sick, just like the old songs…

I can do my bank work… I can do groceries… buy vegetables… handle dhobiwala, doodhwala, paperwala, raddhiwala, postman, courier boy…

I can travel by BEST and when when there is no money for the ticket, I can walk miles and miles, too… And, I don’t mind… I don’t cry!

I can stitch buttons… I can dust my shoes, polish them… take them to a cobbler when they are to be fixed…

I can handle the discomfort – call it ‘shame’ – of borrowing money from a bank or a friend, when I run out of cash… I can take responsibility to work hard and long not to default on repayment… never, ever… And, I can feel that fear, that worry and when I succeed, that pride, too!

I can empathize with others who have to ‘borrow’ money… who find it difficult to pay their children’s school fees (leave alone the Karate, dance or swimming classes!)... who find it difficult to run their household… I can empathize with those parents, who take so much on them without their children having to face the humiliation!

And, therefore, the other day, I felt like asking the Karate kid’s proud father this question from my side, too: “Have you shared with your young-one how, when and from where do you borrow money to make him a Black-belt… Rather, to make him, in your own words, ‘independent’, ‘confident’ in life?”

Once again, let me make it clear, here, that this post is not about parents or their kids… It is just about learning to do some of our own daily chores, early in life, and feel ‘strong’, ‘confident’, ‘independent’ and yes, ‘good’… about ourselves!

To me, the kids, who learn early how much their parents take on them, without grumbling… yes, those kids are true karate kids in life…

And, the parents, who teach their young ones, early, the value of washing their own undies are ‘super parents’…

One last time: This post is not about super mom , super dads or super kids…  Yes, it is just about learning to do some of our own daily chores, early in life, and feel ‘strong’, ‘confident’, ‘independent’ and yes, ‘good’… about ourselves!



GERALD D’CUNHA

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