It was just another day at home. But there was some excitement with my brother and family visiting us later at night. Add to that, my older one too came back with a special news. He had been shortlisted for the debate competition.
If his speech – content and expression – were good enough he would then be selected.
My mom brain was happy but all I could think was I need to write him a good speech. With the guests, his many classes, I had tons to get done. And in between a multitude of tasks, I forgot that it was ‘his’ task and set out to do it.
Fast forward to night. The guests had arrived. The house was buzzing and dinner was just done. And I got back to writing ‘my’ speech.
“Unity in diversity is a myth’…As India stands divided with CAA and NRC, the topic was apt for the times. There was so much to say. The discussion went on till my brother turned to me and said, Don’t you think it’s his task and an opportunity for him to come up with his thoughts.
Why didn’t I think of it?
My mom brain had seen the opportunity to learn as a mere competition and an opportunity to win. I had thought that I could do ‘his’ task, help him get selected. As though the idea and the outcome was more important. The process had been forgotten.
So at around midnight, as we were all still gathered around the table, I told him to let us know what he thought about Diversity. Whether he felt different people could actually live together, peacefully and with mutual respect.
- Intentionally or unintentionally, We tend to push our own agendas and direct experiences to fit our own expectations of the situation. Watch out for that.
- Hard as it may be, keep the child in the centre of the process and outcome.
- Take feedback. Be it opinions or advise, hear them out. What we do with it, is always our call.
- I forgot for sometime that my child was his own individual person with his own independent thoughts, words and arguments. I need not speak for him. I just needed to be there to help him if and when he asked for it.
- Trust your child. I decided, unknowingly that I knew better. I could frame the words right. I could be faster and more effective. I WAS WRONG.
He called out not just the leaders who turned people against each other for selfish needs, but he was also acutely aware of how we as individuals are filled with bias and bigotry.
I slept well that night. Whether he would be selected was no longer a concern for me. He was aware, he was inclusive, he was concerned for the world, and in him, I was hopeful for humanity.