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Lessons of Love: A Parent’s Perspective

As our children’s guardians, we have the responsibility to help guide our little ones and navigate them in this big world. But have you ever encountered a day when a child becomes the teacher and helps the adult in sailing their ship? Jasbir Kaur has and shares about it.

A mirage in the middle of town?! I never knew that was possible. I’ve seen mirages in movies and it most certainly involved deserts, vast dry lands, camels, cowboys and horses. Not once did I see any modern infrastructure in those movies. While here I was, sitting in the comfort of my car at a traffic light with the air conditioner cranked up to the maximum blowing capacity. I found myself rubbing my eyes just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating and that it was indeed a mirage I was seeing, an optical phenomenon due to the hot smouldering temperature outside my car. The fumes exhausted by stationary cars in front of me only added to the heat and amidst all this, I saw a long shadow cast by an elderly woman in tattered clothes. She didn’t seem like she was going somewhere or was even bothered by the heat or the car fumes. She was walking slowly towards my direction, knocking on each car window and showing the driver something she held in her hands.

“Is she mad!?” Would have been my initial thought followed by a plan to make myself appear busy so I can pretend not to see her when she does reach my car – but not today.

She knocked and she stared at me through my creaky car window. I did not pretend to not see her standing there outside in that hot weather. Holding some coloured pens in her wrinkled hands and smiling broadly while nodding her head, signalling me to buy her pens. I didn’t buy her pens instead I offered some change. What she did after surprised me. She offered a prayer for my well being. A life lesson learned.

A couple of weeks back, when I was driving my children for a stay over at their grandma’s house, I ignored a beggar and drove off without a glance or guilt. The result was detrimental to my ego. “How could you?!” muttered my almost tween daughter. “Would it have made you poorer if had you just handed him some coins from your heavy purse?!” she continued saying with fat tears rolling down her cheeks. There was so much anger, disappointment and sadness in her voice that caught me by surprise and made me feel so awful, so guilty and so low.

Our jovial mood had suddenly turned so grey because of my refusal to help someone in need. It was too late to change what I did then but I had just learned a life lesson from my child. Her uncorrupted innocence managed to prove how flawed my adult reasoning can be sometimes. There was so much truth in what she had said. I wouldn’t have become poorer by handing the beggar some cash but he surely would have benefited from it.

I always made justification for my actions, even when I knew I was wrong. I did so to lessen the guilt I felt but it didn’t help this time. For every justification I made, her response made me look even more foolish. So what even if the beggar was a cheat or was fooling every driver at the junction into handing him some spare cash? Or that he was just plain lazy to get a job and hence had to beg?

It is amazing how pure a child’s heart is compared to mine which has been corrupted by all the negative thoughts and suspicions. The same suspicion that made me question the reliability of the pens in the elderly lady’s hands. I had to brush that thought away and look beyond. I am glad I did because see what that small gesture of mine, giving her some loose change, had brought. It made her happy and it made me happy too.

Every day I am learning new ways to live a little happier by watching my kids and their friends. They are young but they carry so much wisdom in their acts, especially when it concerns love. Their idea of love is so pure and innocent. They don’t see colour, creed, race, status or seek recognition for their deeds. They feel with their hearts and are not worried about wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They are not afraid of rejection and would ask, over and over again, only to be rejected once more. To live with children is all about learning to live like a connected being and not a single entity.

What did you learn from your children today?

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