21 February, 2018
You don’t need to teach a fish how to swim; nor do you need to teach a grandmother about being inspiring. Grandmothers are inspiring, by nature. There are umpteen stories out there about how most people have been inspired by their grandmothers. Grandmothers will always have a special place in their grandchildren’s heart. It is a lifelong bond and it doesn’t really matter if the grandkids are staying away and visit only once in a while. The bond survives despite the age, distance, and all other barriers.
In many households, grannies are the kids' confidantes, especially, if both the parents are working. While many kids feel a generation gap with their parents, interestingly, this is simply not seen with grandparents. It is the grandparents that cater to many of the kids’ emotional needs. Similarly, it is the grandkids that teach their grandparents about the use of technology, devices, Internet, and apps etc.
Being an inspiration
Unlike what many people think, it is not necessary that you must be a well-known figure, or should have achieved some fame or success in life, to be inspirational. Many of the olden day grannies can tell stories about how they have survived difficult times through innovative means. How they managed huge, joint families, how they did time management to attend to all the chores, etc. They have many stories and anecdotes up their sleeve; about mythology, ghost stories, family traditions and history, and the list is endless. In fact, the State Government of Rajasthan has initiated something called “Bal Sabha with Grandmothers”. As part of this, grandmothers will be invited to schools to tell tales to the kids. That is the power of grandmas.
If you have grandchildren, it is important to tell them these stories and provide them a different perspective on life. Most kids nowadays, spend the major part of their lives, in school and college. Add to this the tuitions, the competitive exams, the extracurricular activities, and they may just be feeling too burdened. This is where grannies can be good listeners and offer pearls of wisdom to help them out. Kids may understand things better, and feel inspired to do well.
Show by example
It is important to maintain certain self-principles as grandparents. Grandkids will always look up to you for their morals, so it is important to provide good ones. Do not run down your children or question their authority in front of the grandkids. If at all you want to provide some advice, do it in their absence. This will provide an important lesson to the kids that their parents need to be respected on all counts.
There are many virtues that you can pass on, to the grandkids. To always choose the right path and not necessarily the easier one, to respect people of all ages, caste, and gender, to take ownership of their deeds, to be helpful to others, to give to the needy, to respect money and understand its value, and overall to be a good human being.
Right in time
Did you know that International Women’s Day (IWD) is just around the corner on 8th March? This is the right time to bring the matter of gender inclusiveness to the fore. Especially in India, our mostly patriarchal societal norms are meant to keep the women down. Show them by example, how it is important for women to take their rightful place in the society and be treated as equals. Inculcate this in the kids and set the firm foundation for a better future. When the women in the family are treated right and well, the family prospers and in turn, so does the society and the country.
You must surely have heard of Vikas Khanna, the famous Michelin star Indian Chef, who was called “The Hottest Chef of America” by People magazine. Do you know who he was inspired by and how he learned the art of cooking? No two guesses needed; it was his ‘Biji’ or grandmother. Born with a defect in his legs and being teased by the people around, saw Vikas spend more time with his grandma in the kitchen. Who would have thought that a world-class Chef would come out of a kitchen in Amritsar, inspired by none other than a granny? Yes, without doubt, the grannies hold the power of creating and shaping the future, superstars or otherwise.
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