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Posts Tagged ‘today’

A common question that adults ask children is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I remember posing that question to a bunch of kindergarten students once. The answers were pretty interesting. A girl said she wanted to be a princess; another five-year old said he wanted to be a dad and yet another child said she wanted to be a fairy when she grew up!

This shows that children are not ready for those future-related questions and for that type of thinking. All they see and know is their present world. The things they hear about in stories, the people they see in real life – are their models, their heroes. They think about what they want to be according to what they see. When a child says, “Look Mommy, look Daddy – I am so big!”, we often fail to see their excitement about the present and instead start thinking about how big they will be in the future and what they will do.

Children are little explorers who are not yet stuck into their futures and who are not aware of their ambitions in life. They are very open-minded. Anything is possible for them. We have no right to limit our children’s thinking with our own desires, standards and ambitions.

Do you know that parents have been known to decide what their children will be not only when the children are starting to think about university, but also when they are in middle school, primary school or even in play-school?

In fact, it will probably not come as a surprise that children’s future is decided by their parents even before they are born and in certain cases, even before they are conceived! It is heart-breaking to imagine what a tough life such a child will live – the pressures he will go through, the arguments he will have regarding his dreams, the suppression of his passion for his interests, and in the ultimate analysis – a   puppet-like life he would be likely to live.

In all of our plans, we forget that a child is an individual, living in the present. What he will be doing in the future may not be in our hands. We can only ‘fix’ the present and that will automatically take care of the future. Stacia Tuscher has said, “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”

Let us not forget what our child is today. Let us remember to give him the love and attention he rightly deserves; the respect he needs for being an individual with his unique personality; and the encouragement he needs from us. We, the parents, are the ones help the child to see his strengths and to enhance them – right now, in the present, not in the future!

~ Nivedita Shori

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Make Every Day Count

There are many books on cooking these days which give us different kinds of recipes. A variety of dishes we make have many ingredients each with its own specific importance and value. The proportion and quality of each ingredient or component has full potential to make or mar the taste of the dish.

Similar is the case of life. Life is constituted of years, months, weeks and days. We live a small life each and every day and all these small lives – the ingredients – make up our whole life, which is the final product, the dish. To make the dish perfect one should focus on each and every day’s activities. Similar to the ingredients of a dish, each and every day has the potential to make our life a success or a failure.

There are many books, theories and literature available these days on how to make our life a success. The material available is so abundant that even if one skimmed through it hastily, a lifetime would be insufficient.  All such material makes it rather hard for us to select what we need.  In fact, it often leaves us confused.

A long time ago, in a conversation with my father, I found agreat strategy to improve the quality of each and every day. I would like to share it with you. My father and I were once talking on the phone. When we were about to end the call, my father put forth a question. 

He asked, “What do people worship?” The question sounded quite simple and when I was about to answer, he said, “Don’t rush. I want you to think for a day. We will talk tomorrow and I would like to hear what you have to say about this.”
He added, “And by the way, here’s a hint – the answer has nothing to do with beliefs and religion.”

As I pondered over the question, I realized that his hint had made it harder, instead of making it easier.

The next day, I still had no idea of what he was looking for. I called him and requested him to shed light on the question. He told me that almost all of us worship ‘tomorrow’. “My son, we are worshippers of ‘tomorrow’”, he said.

We all have strategies to make our days and our life better, but unfortunately our plan is to apply those strategies starting ‘tomorrow’!

“I will stop eating unhealthy food from tomorrow”;

“I will start regulating my sleep hours from tomorrow”;

“I will start spending more time with my children from tomorrow” and so on.

My father further explained that each and every day we postpone some of our important tasks to the next day and when the next day comes, we again take the pledge to do it ‘tomorrow’. That is how we keep on worshipping ‘tomorrow’ and by doing that we lose several opportunities to grow and excel in life. All the people who made a mark on this earth were the ones who worshipped the present – the worshippers of ‘today’.

He said, “I suggest you make a poster that says in huge letters, “I do not worship tomorrow” and put it in front of your bed. That way, it will be the first thing which you will see when you get up every morning.”

 We cannot do justice with the day if we do not complete the work allotted for the day.  Everything that needs to be accomplished in one day should be carried out without procrastination, avoiding self-deception by making excuses and false promises to ourselves.

We cannot enhance the quality of the day without putting our genuine effort. Each single day is an important ingredient of our life. The quality of the ingredient directly affects the quality of the product – life, in this case! A day wasted or lived in a hollow, meaningless way is like one of the ingredients of the dish being missing or becoming spoilt and unusable. To make the dish full of taste, we need to ensure the presence of good-quality ingredients – our days, weeks, months or years. If we do not spend each day the way it should be spent – whole-heartedly, sincerely and purposefully – then our life will also be one big void, full of emptiness. We will not be able to get what we aspire from our life, just because we failed to make every day count.                                                      

~ Prashant Shori

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