April 27, 2012

Character is the key

A child brought up with good character is like armor on a soldier. It will help parry many a blow of the enemy without which the soldier would certainly succumb. Our world is a jungle of sorts -- filled with both wonder and danger, depending on how we look at it. The wonder of the plethora of services it provides to sustain our wellbeing is juxtaposed with the inherent dangers that can also easily annihilate us in mind and body.

Good character nurtured through a wise and caring upbringing can allay much of these ambient dangers and allow us to enjoy fully the benefits of joy life has for us. But breeding good character doesn't come easy. It requires that we make conscious effort to experience and understand the hardships of life at an early age, which will lay the foundation for empathy with those more unfortunate than us. It will require parents to give up their reticence – of their ego -- to make their children engage in the so called menial and tedious work that we have come to believe that only laborers must do. It is only this type of engagement with the basics of life that will give us an inner sense of compassion for others’ misfortunes because it is only then that we are truly aware of the pain and suffering another human being can go through. The childhood exposure to this breadth of human experience transforms us into balanced citizens by adult life.

Thus, responsible parenting is a serious imperative upon us for creating a bright and harmonious future for our nation. It makes economic sense too, for a society imbued with good character does not need the extensive law enforcement mechanisms that cost so much, to keep mischief under control. The urgings and the power of the inner voice of conscience –our authentic self -- will guide us through any jungle out there. Should this not be the dream of every parent?

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