My nephew, daughter, and son-in-law stand on the cross-roads of their lives. Today I have some free time and want to send some suggestions to my kids. However, I am unsure whether they need my advice. As I had read somewhere, Dad’s popularity with his kids is a variable, like ‘x’ in algebra, which depends largely on how your kids view you. Here is an indicative picture:
How children think about their fathers at different ages (Guess same is true for Uncles):
At 4 Years : My daddy is great. At 6 Years : My daddy knows everything. At 10 Years : My daddy is good but is short tempered At 12 Years : My daddy was very nice to me when I was young. At 14 Years : My daddy is getting fastidious. At 16 Years : My daddy is not in line with the current times. At 18 Years : My daddy is becoming increasingly cranky. At 20 Years : Oh! Its becoming difficult to tolerate daddy. Wonder how Mother puts up With him. At 25 Years : Daddy is objecting to everything. At 30 Years : It's becoming difficult to manage my child. I was so scared of my father when I was young. At 40 Years : Daddy brought me up with so much discipline. Even I should do the same. At 45 Years : I am baffled as to how my daddy brought us up At 50 Years : My daddy faced so many hardships to bring us up. I am unable to manage a single child. Wish he was here and I could take his advice. At 55 Years : My daddy was so far sighted and planned so many things for us. He was one of his kind and unique. Wish he were here and I could take his advice. At 60 Years : My daddy was great. Wish he was here and I could take his advice.
So, I guess, presently I am not in a very popular phase. But, all the same, when kids have to make choices that will affect their future, the father (uncle) in me must put his point across even if it is uninvited or unwelcome.
Let me start with an old joke. Here goes...
Bill Gates dies in a car accident. He finds himself in purgatory, being sized up by St. Peter. "Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this call; I'm not sure where to send you. After all, you helped society enormously by putting a computer in almost every home in America, yet you also created that ghastly Windows'95. I'm going to do something I've never done before. In your case; I'm going to let you decide whether you want to go to Heaven or Hell."
Bill replied, "Well, what's the difference between the two?"
St. Peter: "I'm willing to let you visit both places briefly, if it will help your decision."
Bill: "Fine, but where should I go first?"
St. Peter: "I'll leave that up to you."
"Okay then," said Bill, "Let's try Hell first."
So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean, sandy beach with clear waters and lots of bikini-clad women running around, playing in the water, laughing, and frolicking about. The sun was shining; the temperature was perfect. Bill was very pleased.
"This is great!" he told St. Peter. "If this is hell, I REALLY want to see heaven!"
"Fine," said St. Peter, and off they went.
Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with angels drifting about, playing harps and singing. It was nice, but not as enticing as Hell. Bill thought for a minute, and rendered his decision.
"Hmmm. I think I'd prefer Hell," he told St. Peter.
"Fine," retorted St. Peter, "as you desire." So Bill Gates went to Hell.
Two weeks later, St. Peter decided to check on the late billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell. When he got there, he found Bill, shackled to a wall, screaming amongst hot flames in dark caves, being burned and tortured by demons. "How's everything going?" he asked Bill.
Bill responded, with his voice filled with anguish and disappointment, "This is awful! This is nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago! I can't believe this is happening! What happened to that other place, with the beautiful beaches, the scantily-clad women playing in the water?"
"That was a demo," replied St. Peter.
Moral : In life you will come across many demos. Please do not be in a hurry to make life changing decisions based on hear say or your unclear perceptions or your glamorization. In life, the worst items are sold in the best packings and the worst people put on the best behavior (for some time).
Be patient, take out time, research, ask the right people and get to the truth.
Another short story...
A man, tired of the din and bustle of the city, goes to the deep jungles of Africa. One day he is captured by tribals and taken to their chief. The man thinks they would kill him. However, to his great surprise, the chief welcomes him and has a throne erected next to his own throne for the man. Over time he becomes the head advisor to the chief. He becomes a very important person in the tribe and lives in luxury. However, one fine morning he is woken up and marched to a tree where a nooze is hanging. The man starts to yell “You cannot do this. What is my crime?”
The chief smiles and asks “Dear friend, we could have done this when you first arrived here. However, I gave you very special treatment. Did you ever ask me why? What had you done to deserve that special treatment? Today when I am about to hang you, you ask so many questions.”
Moral : Please have a honest assessment about yourself. Always be realistic.
Be careful to avoid sycophants and insincere people with hidden motives.
The irony of life is that you have to make the toughest life altering decisions when you are most inexperienced in life. Be patient, take out time, research, ask the right people and get to the truth. Please have a honest assessment about yourself. Always be realistic. Be careful to avoid sycophants and insincere people with hidden motives.
Above all, be very thankful to God for all that He gives you and always seek His guidance.
Rajesh Chaubey, Guest Contributor, PatnaDaily.Com