Sunday, October 30, 2016

WHEN YOU SIT DOWN AND LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD








My son has come home, for some days, on his Diwali vacation. My wife and I were having a long discussion with him this evening. This is a young generation – let me call it ‘tribe’… and, so, talking to the tribe of my son is a priceless education in itself. For over three hours, we were discussing about so many things in life… particularly about making changes and reinventing ourselves in life.

Well, my son is twenty-four and I am fifty-eight. Yes, I am his father and he is my son… Thus, while having discussion, it is easy for me to slip into that position and try to tell him, “Look son, I have been there, seen that and done that… So, you better listen to me.”

Good God, the tribe of my son is wired to think clearly. You end up getting this, quickly, “Sit down dad, there is something that I need to tell you… It is better for you if you listen.”

Is it really better?

Let me tell you, just sitting before this tribe and listening to them, without a pre-conceived and judgmental mind, is sheer delight. This evening, I got off that high stand of being his father and a man of experience… yes, I got down to his level… saw him as my equal – even more than an equal – and simply absorbed in the spontaneous wisdom he was imparting to me and my wife…

Frankly, the experience of learning from your young children can be very fulfilling and enriching…

Let me share with you two take-aways from today’s discussion…


“If you do not take yourself – your work and your worth – seriously, nobody else will.”

My son said this to emphasize on the subject, that if you do not value your work, your talent, your time, your dedication and commitment of decades, then you are undervaluing yourself… you are undervaluing your work and worth… If you let yourself to do that, you are also letting others to do that. The world will treat you in the same measure as you treat yourself.”

Bang on!!!


“Your vibe attracts your tribe.”

In half-a-dozen different ways, someone, somewhere, has told me this… and I have told it to someone, somewhere...
“The birds of the same feather flock together,”… this was the earliest one.
“You are defined by the company you keep,”… this, too, is an old one.
“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are,” this is one more.
“Those who lie down with dogs will rise up with fleas,” this is very colourful and my favorite.
 And, today, when my son said, that the tagline of their close-knit group is:
“Your vibe attracts your tribe,” I couldn’t agree more...

Didn’t I know that truth? Of course, I did.


When William Wordsworth said in his poem that famous line, “The child is the father of man,” what he meant was: the conduct of a child indicates what he will become when he grows up. But, today, I saw the father in my son, who was strong and wise enough to tell me, “Sit down dad, there is something that I need to tell you… It is better for you if you listen.”

I am glad, I sat down and listened!


GERALD D’CUNHA


Pic.: Kenrick D'Cunha

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