Responsible Parenting — What is that we are not doing for our beloved Children

I came across news about 3 incidents which happened in the recent past ; they are 3 very different types of incidents , happened in 3 different cities and yet something struck me as a common thread running through them all .

It is not important to recount vivid details of what happened , for reference I just do a quick recap here :

(i)   4 Young college going friends died in Bangalore in car crash in what appears a case of reckless driving (ii) Accident which happened in a road tunnel in Jaipur , where many cars passed without stopping by the dead body of the lady killed in an accident  (iii) Recent gang rape in Delhi … victim lying below flyover with passersby not bothering to help .

 Many disturbing questions in the aftermath …. Who’s responsible for the death of students in the car crash …… the students themselves for reckless driving or their Parents who thought giving car was a better gift than the wisdom to handle it in a responsible manner ?

Why is it easy for us to quietly slip through in the comfortable confines of our car than stop by to help a dying woman on the road  ?

What has blunted our senses , our sensibilities & our values that we are no longer moved to help a hapless crime victim lying on the road  ?

Are we unfit for community living or are we completely insensitive to what is happening around , as long as it does not affect us as an individual or as a family ?

 Were we always like that or are we changing ( for worse ) ?

 The evolution of grey matter over my head reminds me that we were NOT always like this . We were probably not as uncaring , as insensitive , as self centered , with uncouth / unruly social behaviour as some of the recent incidents bear out .

What has caused this change . It is not unreasonable to believe that neither our physical constitution nor genetic composition has changed much . Neither our education level or Urbanisation or so called Prosperity has dwindled .

Yes may be our ‘ Wealth quotient ‘ has gone up & as a trade off our ‘ Values quotient ‘ has deteriorated . The ‘ Value transition ‘ across generations seem to have diluted from what my & prior to my generations have received from their elders . Sense of right / wrong , sense of social consciousness , society living , mutual respect , human dignity has seen rapid deterioration .

 If we are unhappy at what is going around our society , especially in our social behaviour …. We need to think hard as to who is responsible – where is the root cause . It is not the children / young generation , but their parents who are fully responsible for the outcome we see on the road . We can’t blame children for not displaying something ( discipline , social behaviour ) that they don’t know . we can’t hold them responsible for not knowing what they don’t know , because we didn’t tell them .

If we think that today’s generation has lost sense of what is right / what is wrong , it’s their parents who have failed miserably to develop the sense of discretion in them in the formative years — Parents have failed because they did not have time or mind space for transmitting Values , because that time & mind space was fully occupied with a single minded pursuit of amassing wealth in an illusion as the only asset they thought their children need  

 This sense of right / wrong , social consciousness is not ‘ innate ‘ , nobody carries it through genetic inheritance … this is a matter of habit formation , which intrinsically means that someone elder need to imbibe this into growing children , need to orient them , equip them to grow into alert , sensitive , responsible citizens .

Unfortunately when we are proving our superior aping ability to copy Western lifestyle , we have not copied from them the good values like Discipline , Work ethics , Community living , Human dignity .

 Who needs to do this ? In growing up phase two biggest exposures & hence influencers for a child are : Home & School . Schools never had it on agenda — it’s not really an academic curriculum – It was Parents ( Grandparents in Joint families ) who used to do that . Today’s parents , like for everything else they do , seem to have ‘ outsourced ‘ this responsibility of inculcating social / moral values to no one . With money becoming common substitute for all our emotions and expressions , there is no space for Values , parents have ‘ no time ‘ for this .

 Finally we as Parents need to introspect as to what do we really want to give to our next generation in inheritance …. Is it only Money / material wealth ….but then even the next generation is capable of making lots of money . Or is it the Values / “ Sanskaars ” that we want to gift —  Helping children develop a sense of right / wrong , to be able to grow as responsible citizen of this country , a responsible community person ?

In sum if we feel there is deterioration in our social behaviour & we need to change it — I’m fully convinced that we need to hit at the root cause . To create Responsible citizens of tomorrow we need to first develop Responsible Parents —- What do you feel ?

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Vaalya to Rishi Valmiki — Coaching Journey of Life

To me , Naradmuni is World’s first & most Pioneering Coach who made a profound impact on world history with one of his most talked about human transformations – which turned Vaalya , the roadside dacoit to Valmiki who went on to become one of the most revered Sages , who wrote Ramayan .  :

  • For the lesser initiated on the matter , here goes the story :
    • Vaalya used to loot / kill unsuspecting passers by in Jungle as his way of earning & feeding self & family . One day Naradmuni happened to pass by , when Vaalya caught him & asked for money . Naradmuni said ‘ I have nothing on me that can serve your purpose – you’ll be wasting your time on me ‘ . He asked Vaalya as to why is he doing all these supposedly wrong things – looting / robbing  , killing . Vaalya had a quick reply – “ I do it for my family “ , he said . This is when in a typical Coaching approach , Naradmuni asked him if he thinks , whether this is what his family too expects from him . Without hesitation , Vaalya replied in affirmative . Naradmuni challenged Vaalya to check out with the family if they too think so . When Vaalya asked his family , to his surprise he found out that none of his family members was either supportive of his ‘ profession ‘ or wanted to be a partner in his ‘ sin ‘ .
    • This brought in the realization . He was not only in his self created illusion ( about what he felt his family wants ) but he realized the irrelevance of what he was doing . The impact of that awareness was such that it brought about almost 180 degree transformation from a dacoit to a Sage …. The rest is history , as he went on to write Ramayan .
  • I find very high relevance of this story today . If I liken us with Vaalya , I’m sure most of us would feel outraged … I most certainly don’t mean to refer to anyone as Vaalya in literal sense ( as a roadside robber ) However the zeal with which I see many of us work single mindedly to amass material wealth , the speed with which I see greed replacing need as the driver in life and the amazing route we are taking where Money , at the exclusion of everything else , is becoming the Purpose of Life ( PoL ) scares me to think which way are we heading . And on top of it , when I see most of us ( sincerely ) believe that the single minded pursuit of material wealth at the cost of health , family time & purity of soul is guided by our concern for the family — this is what we are doing “ for the family “  …… no other analogy hits me better than that of Vaalya’s self created illusion of what he thought his family wanted .
  • In a way hence , I see that many of us in our lust for money have lost touch with both reality & life . Like Vaalya we have become “ awareness blind “ … we are in dire need for a Naradmuni coach in our life to bring in a larger awareness about priorities in life …. If that helps here are some self soul searching questions :
    • What do I want from life  , What will bring real joy to me and my family
    • What do my spouse , my children really need from me
    • What is the best gift I can give to my family ,  What is that can really make difference to their life
    • What is the best inheritance I can plan for my children … if it’s the material wealth , what makes me believe that my children are not as capable as I was in generating this much wealth & more on their own
    • When I retire from active life , what is that one thing I’d yearn for . Looking back from a retired stage , what is that one thing I’d not like to regret
  • While it’s all about awareness , finally it’s your life – your choice . You have to take a call to start your life journey from Vaalya to Valmiki …. The sooner it occurs to you is better for you . You can certainly do it on your own , however should you need me to be your Naradmuni , I’d be more than happy … after all it’s not just my Joy , but also my Job !

DEPENDENCE : CONSTRUCTIVE OR DESTRUCTIVE

# Life is about dependence . There are many examples like friends who  prefer company of friends for most transactions , they do not prefer doing things lone  .Organisation depends on its employees to take its agenda forward , why even a mighty Nation depends on its residents , just to be a NATION . If dependence is barred no collaborative alliances can exist & flourish . In fact in today’s world there is no such concept / person / nation who is 100 % self sufficient , who is not dependent on any one else for something or the other . There is a feel of reassurance in these examples .

# On the other hand , some other examples are : A child’s dependence on parents for many things , before he grows up ; A traditional , non working Indian housewife’s financial dependence on her husband . In these cases the dependent is almost at the mercy of the other person . This dependence does not have a good feel about it .

# Therefore is ‘ dependence ‘ good or bad , is it crippling or reassuring , is it a strength to ‘ depend on ‘ someone or is it a sign of weakness ?  … lets understand it a little more closely .

# Dependence in itself may not be good or bad … depends where is it coming from & importantly where is it taking one  from here on

  • In the latter case the dependence is one sided , there is one party who is perceived to be     ( more ) dependent on the other
    • This dependence is more physical / material & is ‘ external ‘
    • This dependence is also about some basic / survival needs
    • In an ‘ unequal ‘ relationship , self esteem of ‘ receiving ‘ party may be at stake
  • Dependence in the former case is relatively more mutual than one sided , or at least there is no ‘ hierarchy ‘ in who needs whom more –  neither party can be said to have an upper hand or being subservient to the other .
    • This dependence may go beyond addressing physical / material needs
    • In many cases it’s beyond basic / survival needs . These are likely to invoke feelings of reassurance , emotional support , comfort , confidence , even pride & hence the dependence is likely to be more ‘ internal ‘

# I would categorise the former one as ‘ Constructive ‘ dependence , which is facilitative & the latter one as ‘ Destructive ‘ dependence , which can be crippling & debilitating .

India’s dependence on US in the 60s for Food grains was Destructive dependence whereas the current one is a Constructive dependence

# Constructive dependence is a case where presence of the other entity is reassuring , an advantage ; but its absence is not crippling or a disadvantage . It is a case where you don’t physically / materially need it for you to stand on your own , but it is a warm mental feeling that , should I be in need , there is someone there , who I can fall back on .

# Destructive dependence is a case where without support one is inadequate — things will come to a halt . Destructive dependence is like crutches without which a person may not be able to walk , whereas Constructive dependence is like shoulder of a friend , you can put your hand around while walking on your own & feel good .

In Sum , dependence in itself is not a weakness , it can be your strength . However having an assurance ( or an avenue ) of dependence when you don’t need it , is the best form of dependence . Dependence works best when it’s mutual & building on each other than being helpless to the extent of being at  ‘ someone’s mercy ‘    in the other person’s absence . Life’s journey should be to evolve from a position of Destructive dependence ( if at all ) to the Constructive dependence .

However such a state can only be negotiated from a position of strength . Each of the partner in Constructive dependence needs to be independently strong & independent to be able to become each other’s support . A position of weakness can only lead to a Destructive dependence .

But then remember , feeling of ‘ dependence ‘ is more psychological than physical .

Past Tense or Future Lens — What’s your choice

•Carryover from the past can be a burden , especially when unpleasant – not only that it causes pain but may make forward journey difficult . • In one of his lectures , I heard Deepak Chopra mentioning about the choice one has to make … ” Either be a victim of the past or be a pioneer of change ” • Does it mean we ‘ trash ‘ our entire past — not at all , but we need to decide what we choose from that o We can’t simultaneously live in 2 time zones . As much as we choose to be in the past , we can’t be a part of the future . o That’s why I always emphasize ” Carry not Regrets from the past , carry only the Learning ” • To rid of unnecessary baggage , awareness is required . o We need to observe & reflect on what we are doing ( probably by default ) … what are we carrying , why & the key decider question to ask : Does it help us & how ? o Imagine your mind space as a physical space, if it is congested with dumping of dead packages , where is a breathing room for a fresh thought — We need to clean up the room first ! o Letting go — not hold on to things which are either gone , irrelevant or do not help is an essential prerequisite for progress o It is detachment from desires & non fixation with outcome ; remaining focused on the duty ( Gita says the same thing ) . • As a coach one needs to be observant of any baggage client is carrying , making him / her aware of it , especially when it is affecting journey forward . • Getting rid of baggage of thoughts , assumptions , attachments will make client more flexible on issues & his/ her mind freer for thinking of options . • To be responsible , to be accountable for our actions we need to be clear on what we want & focused on our sense of direction .

What do you feel .. I’d like to benefit from your thoughts , reflection on this ; you can reach me on this blog or on yatinsamant@yahoo.co.uk

Exciting Alternative Business Approach — Come , be a part of it

I’m working on an interesting project of embarking on an unconventional Business model , but no less viable , no less exciting . It’s prompted by an opportunity I had to closely observe business conduct of a few organisations I am recently associated with . This will involve a lot of work : Research , Observation , Analysis , Conceptualisation , Hypothesis building & testing …. At the end , success is not guaranteed , but what keeps me going is my conviction that we’d discover an alternative way of doing business .

Below are thoughts from my Concept note for your reading . This being a profound task in an uncharted territory , I’d be greatly helped with thoughts , suggestions , challenges & critique from all of you . I’d value encouragement as well as discouragement ( flaws ) . I request you to please be generous in your sharing ….. & also if this interests you enough to join my efforts in working through this project ; you are more than welcome .

It has been my learning & belief that above & beyond any of the conventional factors of measurement , like intelligence , wealth , success , business acumen , personality , a person & his / her accomplishments need to be judged by how good a human being he / she is .

There are many successful business models & approaches . Many of these show realization that people form the most crucial business differentiator  & accordingly show varying degree of  ‘ Human focus ‘ .

  • However in most cases  focus on Human aspect seems to be a conscious business strategy , a left brain exercise … simply because there is an implied business ROI equation. There is nothing wrong , except that , the implied priority is clear – it’s people as a means to Business gains — not the other way round . Employee care is not an end objective .

On the other hand my association with a few business organizations made me feel that there can be an alternative , viable business approach  , beyond the conventional  ROI driven ‘ People focus ‘ . Here ‘humanity ‘  , if not already at the core , is at least  not subsidiary to Business ROI  . Here Business success serves as an essential enabler to serve the ‘ People ‘ purpose , not the other way round .

  • Here ‘ People at core ‘  is not a strategy but a prerequisite to doing good business . ‘ Being good to people ‘ is not a conscious drive but a systemic way , more of a ‘ state of being ‘  — unconscious competence !  Here  ‘ Being good ‘ is not in substitution of ‘ doing meaningful business ‘ but an inseparable part of it .
  • In this alternative model , people focus is not decided by the Head , but is a call of the Heart – reason why it is systemic & not transactional .  You don’t need to decide or remember to be good , you are just ‘ Good ‘

Hypothesis

‘ Being a good human being ‘ is neither contrary nor extrinsic to good business sense , but is in fact intrinsic to business success as exemplified by xxxx organizations

  • The task needs to begin with defining what is a “ Good human being “ & in doing that also establishing difference between ‘ Doing good ‘ & ‘ Being good ‘ .   While doing good is transactional , Being good is systemic  ; Doing good is a conscious act with an expectation ; being good is a state of unconscious competence &  is unconditional . whereas Doing good is a means to the desired end , Being good is a pursuit in itself .

Welcome to Enhancement Journey

Hi

I’m very happy to see you here & want you to feel at home  !

I feel obligated & elated at the same time to inaugurate my new blog under the Value Enhancer title — which happens to be its founding purpose .

I’ve always worked with the conviction throughout my 26 +years of Corporate career & almost twice as much of a life journey , that the best purpose for any pursuit — which cuts across any initiative in any domain — is to  ” ADD VALUE  ”  . One can add value to Product , Person , Process …. to almost anything ( P or not to P , is not the question ! ) If the aspect / object / event , I am associated with is different & better because of  me , then I have added value . If it’s unchanged with or without me , then I’m irrelevant to the context .

The whole purpose of a life journey is about enhancement , beginning with self .  The incessant urge is to be a ‘ better person ‘ tomorrow than what I’m today ; every day , starting today . If we can achieve this , everything else will fall in place 

With this conviction , all that I do — whether Coaching , Consulting , Teaching , Writing , Development workshops — is to do with ‘ Enhancement Space ‘  . I proudly call myself as a Value Enhancer in what must be a rarer if not unique title . My recent graduation as a Professional Certified Coach ( PCC ) is a conscious reinforcement in that direction .

I promise to augment my blog site regularly ( at least fortnightly ) with thoughts , notes , experiences which will bring in a value add under different sections : Coaching , Consulting , Management , Development initiatives etc .

For thoughts outside these domains , I’ve another blog : yatinsamantoneworld.blogspot.com

However quite obviously , the Enhancement journey is quite incomplete without your participation & enrichment which is brought in through interaction . I earnestly encourage you to visit this site regularly & share your thoughts , supplementation , experiences .

Above all , I’m a strong believer & practitioner of  Collaboration …. I’ve done that even with what people conventionally refer to as competition.

My Blog Home intentionally does not have doors , it’s a free entry ; if you don’t find me there , please leave a message & I’d get back to you . Remember , to add value to me , you’ve no compulsion to agree with me on any matter .

Welcome again & please help me in my journey to enhancement , for self & for others . See you soon