To be independent is to be disciplined.

“Growth happens in the midst of conflict – when you’re frustrated, angry or scared and you’re doing the same old thing, and then you realize that you can choose to do it better…”

Yesterday was the 73rd Indian independence anniversary. There were numerous celebrations across India. Prime Minister Modi’s Independence Day speech emphasized two things, population control, and education.

It is essential that we control the quantity of the Indian population and through education, improve the quality of the Indians.

I was reflecting on the word Independence and realized that when I was younger, in high school and in college, I had a very wrong notion as to how the term independence applied to me, and that was “If I could do things I felt like, without having to listen to or to mind what elders, especially my parents want me to do, I am enjoying independence.” My erroneous notion about the term independence made be irresponsible.

As I aged and graduated from college, I joined a company, got married, and had children. Gradually it started to dawn on me that Independence means to be disciplined and fulfilling one’s responsibilities.

Interactions with professionals, my bosses, and seniors validated what my elders, especially my parents and teachers in school and college had all along attempted to inculcate in me.

I will encourage the readers to understand, the importance of seniors, at home, and at work, that we consistently educate our children and juniors the importance of discipline and responsible living. Role modeling disciplined and responsible living will ensure that we overcome the tendency of taking short cuts of shouting, belittling, embarrassing, spoiling and often ignoring when youngsters are off-track.

I often share in my seminars that there are two kinds of responsibilities, the ones which we are given, and the ones we take. When we are born, being a child, sibling, nephew, niece, or a grandchild is a responsibility which is given to us.

The parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts need to be balanced in their approach to inculcate the discipline and a sense of appropriate behaviour, so as the child grows, he or she becomes a responsible adult or a responsible elder, so he or she may do well in the responsibilities he or she “undertakes” as a spouse, parent, uncle or aunt and becoming a leader at workplace.

I encourage the readers to understand, that to be independent is to be disciplined, and consistently drive to find better ways of being an elder, both home and at work.

One more thing, as a parent, I need to quit telling my child to be a better child, and to role model how to be a good parent and a good spouse. Similarly, instead of admonishing the junior to become better, I need to find better ways of inspiring and instructing the junior.

A stitch in time saves nine means, do not first rip the child or the junior and then try to mend the “damage” but to keep becoming better in leading the child and junior towards discipline and being responsible. Let build the characters of our youngsters, one stitch at a time.


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