Child is the father of man is an old saying. Most of us as kids always complain that our parents do not listen to us. They do not have the time to answer all our inquisitive questions. They are busy in their own world and tend to lose their cool when we pester them with our queries. As a child, we feel each of our questions are closest to our hearts and we feel hurt when they are not answered.
On the other hand, as we grow old and have our own kids, our world view changes. When our first child is born, we thank God for the blessings showered on us. Our child is the most beautiful in the world and we commit to take care of them to the best of our ability. As the child grows up and speaks the first word, we are elated. We encourage them to speak and we are all ears to every conversation of theirs.
Now the kid grows up and has all the questions under the sun. As they grow up, they keep testing our patience with endless questions challenging us every day of our life. We end up asking God why did he bless us with a kid, who cannot stop asking us all day and night. We forget that ourlife would have been silenced without a kid in our lives.
Now our kid grows into an adolescent. The rebellious behaviour tests our patience to the limits. We are told by elders, family members, friends and colleagues that we do not know how to parent our adolescent kids. We need to lead them by example and restrain ourselves. It may be easier said than done. It is one thing to advise others and totally another to practise it as a parent. All those who have gone through this know the definition of patience in real life.
Now our child grows into an adult and leaves home. We grow older and our own kids do not have time for us. Life comes a full circle. We feel distressed that our kids do not talk or listen to us. We eagerly wait for our kids to call us or visit us once in a way. This is the way life progresses and we need to learn to live it that way. All of us go through life and the earlier we realize the changing roles and needs in different phases of life, the better for us.
Now when our kids lose their patience at our persistent questions, we wonder why are they so impatient. Why do they not respect us ? Why cannot they find time for us. Why are they not grateful to us for all that we have done for them. So, again, life turns upside down. We find ourselves in the same place as our kids were when they were young. They had all the questions in the world and we neither had the time nor the patience to answer them.
It is this realisation that life is a full circle and each of us go through the same tests of our patience at different phases of life is a reality. We need to learn to enjoy the curiosity (impatience) of kids, the adrenalin ( rebellion) of the adolescents, the maturity (silence) of the adults and the wisdom (intrusiveness)of the elders.
Let us start today.
S Ramesh Shankar