I) My Extra Time
When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen.
What better can we gift children than our time, a listening ear and emotional support. Emotionally unfulfilled childhood can never lead to a healthy mindset in life. Most of the people with personality aberrations are those who have had abnormal and disturbed childhoods. A child is dependent on someone, is innocent about most of the things and trusts people easily; it becomes our responsibility to give him/her positive impressions and to safeguard him/her from CSA (Child-Sexual-Abuse) and child-predators. Hence, I will make sure that I give quality time, emotional support and an open environment to the child.
People have different emotional levels. Especially, when you're young.
Many of my friends have been the ‘latch-key kids’, a term for children of working parents who keep a separate key and manage everything alone after coming from school. A friend told me how he would come from school, warm the already cooked food, change and leave for tuitions. In the evening, his tired parents would have almost no time for him. This thing has now created a wall between them. My friend has become emotionally detached, has got a life of his own and does not bother much for the parents, and feels it’s a sort of tit for tat. Absence of parents on emotional front can create a deep void, impossible to be filled later.
Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
-Arthur Schopenhauer, ‘The Basis of Morality’
Company of pets not only makes a child positive, happy and sensitive towards emotions but kind as well. Pets are great stress reducers and children are happiest with them, as per a research. Children must be taught right from the beginning to be kind to animals. One can know true love and friendship only if one loves an animal; it awakens one’s soul and makes one tolerant and patient. Hence, the company of pets is very important for healthy emotional development of any child. I too had a dog who was my best buddy! Hence, being kind to animals is what I will teach right from the very beginning so as to make sure that my tree, when grows up, is laden with flowers of kindness and not thorns.
The conquest of learning is achieved through the knowledge of languages.
-Roger Bacon, ‘The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon’
The time, effort and money spent in learning an extra language(s) can never go waste. In these times of ever increasing communication and travelling, every professional has become a globe trotter. Therefore, knowing even a single extra language will vastly add to the knowledge of the child. Also, another most important reason is that, learning a language opens up the doors of its literature thus elevating the intellectual standards. Armed with the knowledge of other languages, he/she will be able to fully exploit the global opportunities coming in way.
क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को जिसके पास गरल हो
उसको क्या जो विषहीन विनीत सरल हो
- शक्ति और क्षमा
These famous lines from the poem ‘Shakti Aur Kshama’ by the famous Hindi poet Ramdhaari Singh ‘Dinkar’ describe how only the strong have a power to forgive. Self-defense which is all about physical and mental toughness is usually perceived as the art of beating the other person to pulp or something to impress girls. In fact it is one of the most misunderstood arts in the world. Self-defense means making oneself strong enough that if adverse conditions arrive, one can save his/her and others’ lives.
A timid and a pessimistic personality is indeed a curse in this world where only power rules. A lot of children are bullied in schools, buses and social groups and unfortunately take that bullying lying down, hoping that the bully will leave once he gets bored. This can work once or twice; I feel strongly hitting back is required to make sure that no one can take the child for granted. In severe cases, if required, the parents may intervene sometimes. Saving a child from being bullied and inculcating an innate sense of self-confidence and dignity is like making a strong foundation.
Recently, a girl saved herself from getting raped with this art. Not just boys, but girls too, should learn this holistic art that not only makes the body strong and tough but is also very calming for the mind. I once saw on NG Channel about a man in Thailand whose brother was murdered brutally. To avenge his death that man learned ‘Muay-Thai’, a martial art but by the time he became proficient in it, he was too clam and positive to take revenge and instead, forgave the murderers’! Hence, self-defense esp in today’s time seems more like a necessity. Actor Akshay Kumar credits his success to his black belt training in Karate only!
The child should be pulled out of his comfortable cocoon, be thrown out in the rain and sun so that he emerges out a winner and as a more experienced person.
V) Secured Funds
V) Secured Funds
माता शत्रुः पिता वैरी,येन बालो न पाठितः।
(Parents who do not educate their children are like enemies)
This old Hindu ‘sholka’ describes the importance of education. Nothing can be achieved without it and for that, we need funds, a lot of funds. Our loving family, a fit body, culture and everything will be of no use if we do not have good education and career, hence monetary aspects are important too. Money is what keeps world going and people work only on incentives. Leaving everything on fate is a sheer foolishness; after all everything is based on ‘give and take’. Planning for future is the most important thing and taking in view the ever rising costs and inflation, I will gift him/her a plan that keeps the future safe and can be used in the time of need. I think, a policy like the ‘HDFC Young StarsPlans’ will be one of my most important gifts for a child.
There is a Persian saying that goes like
जिसके हाथ में हुनर, उसे मुफलिसी का क्या डर
(One who has a skill, need not fear penury)
How true! One must have a skill or art to keep his stove-fires burning even in rough weather. We cannot always depend on one job or a business. A skill or art will always be there in difficult times like, say, recession or financial depressions. For acquiring such a skill, obviously, funds are needed; hence, investing wisely in a policy becomes an essential part of the whole financial planning for a safe future.