Some years back, my neighbour, a businessman, had mentioned that he normally discusses the highlights of his day’s work with his family during dinner. This was his way of grooming his 9 years old son who, he hoped, would eventually take over his business. One evening, when this neighbour’s son was playing with his friends, his elder sister reminded him that he had not prepared sufficiently for his Mathematics test the next day. The boy, obviously more concerned about his game than about the next day’s test, ignored her. She pointed out that he had to do well in that test to make up for his poor performance in the previous test. If he did badly in the next day’s test, he would be in trouble. His reply: “Don’t worry, Didi! I’m sure I’ll do well tomorrow. By chance, if I do badly, I’ll bribe the teacher to give me good marks.” Obviously, my neighbour’s grooming was effective!
On another day, I was at another neighbour’s house when his son returned after purchasing some items from the local grocer. The boy handed over the bill and the change to his mother, who realised that the grocer had given excess change by mistake, Rs. 37 instead of Rs. 27. She requested her son to return the excess amount to the grocer immediately. The 12 years old boy was reluctant to go out again as it was very hot outside. His mother insisted, explaining that, while Rs. 10 was a minor amount for them, it was a significant amount for the grocer, hence they should not take even the slightest chance that they would forget to return it later. To the best of my knowledge, the mother was not trying to groom her son. She was only doing what she thought was correct. In the process, she was being a wonderful role model for her son!
With reference to honesty, discipline, compassion, punctuality, fairness, tolerance and other values, which of these examples fits you best as a parent/elder?
(This is a re-post, with changes, of my post dated July 13, 2013.)