Lessons Taught, Lessons Learned

This post is for Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger and HDFC Life

A child, when he or she comes into the world, is a blank slate, ready to be written on. Early lessons taught to a child stay with him or her all through their lives, shaping their personalities, affecting their mental, emotional and intellectual growth, instill values and belief systems, and ultimately, define who they are later in life. Though each child learns to think for himself or herself and develops personality traits and beliefs exclusive to their own being, lessons imparted in their early life stay in their minds all through their lives.

Right after I finished by Class 12 and had this long stretch of time to look forward to when I had nothing much to do, one day, my father suggested that I take up a job. A job? But am I not too young for a job? You are big enough to earn your own pocket money, dad explained patiently, and sat down with me to explore my options. We finally decided that I could tutor kids, which would keep me in touch with studies and also leave e with enough time to relax and entertain myself. I started with tutoring one kid at home, and gradually extended to five in no time. It was great! Not only was I earning more pocket money than I ever had, I learnt how to teach, how to deal with naughty kids, tell when they were not paying attention, and come to terms with the fact that each child is different and had to be treated likewise. That is a lot of lessons to learn! Dad also helped me open a bank account, taught me how to withdraw and deposit money, save enough and use the rest wisely.

What’s better, I realized the joy of earning your own money. I could now pay for all my movies and coffees, buy gifts for my family and friends and even donate to charity. It made me feel important and grown-up. As I started college, I was wondering if I could make time for studies as well as tutoring. Dad reminded me that I had made a commitment to the children, and likewise, should honor the responsibility of seeing them through at least till the end of their academic year. I did, and found it was not that hard. Here I learnt the skill of time management and multi-tasking, while also being able to pay my way through college. I was the only one in my class who was paying my own fees, and often left college early instead of hanging around the campus, in order to reach the kids on time, and many times, a lot of people thought either my parents were financially unstable or didn’t love me enough to pay my fees! I never tried explaining to them that it was neither.

The thrill of supporting myself made me more ambitious towards my career. I now knew I had to do well in my studies in order to get a good job, so that this thrill could continue. And I became more serious about my studies than I ever was. And all this, without any pushing or nagging from my parents. One little suggestion from dad when I was seventeen had turned out to be the turning point of my life and made me self-reliant and confident.

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