Investment that makes me proud…
November 07, 2006
Dear Little One,
I was a little swayed off my feet by your remark yesterday! I was really surprised at the comment that you made about our contribution in making you what you are today.
If you feel that it has been a healthy tradition to have invested something in you then I think it needs to be carried forward by you. I think it is a tradition that must go on. I am only trying to remember how have we raised all three of you and what is it that sets you apart from others.
I have written so many times as well as have discussed it often with all of you that I feel guilty for not providing you with material things that I easily could. I felt all the more guilty when I watch the proud parents, reveling in their financial status, would drive the child to market if the child as much as ask for a pencil!! I think hard and make comparisons and wonder what would have I done if you had pestered me with an illogical and untimely demand—yes, you are right. I would have thrashed you hard. I was a strict parent, am still strict, when it comes to acceding to unreasonable demands made upon me, irrespective of their nature
Looking back I wonder why I would not listen to your demands. Why would I not get you everything that you demanded from me? Perhaps I wanted you to learn that money needs to be earned to be spent. And looking back intently, and as objectively as is possible for me, I find it amazing that when your demands were not met, you would not resort to get them fulfilled by any other means. Do you remember that we would put all our money at one place that all three of you were told about the place so that you could buy whatever you wanted even when we were not at home. The money was there for anyone of you to take and use. The freedom to misuse the liberty, too, was there. And all three of you were free to take as much money as you needed from there and since no account was ever maintained, anyone of you could take any amount of money from the cash box! But none of you ever misused the trust that we had imposed on your sincerity. We wanted you to appreciate that the discipline and restrictions come from within and not from outside. My trust in your honesty was never betrayed. Yes, there has been a stray case when your younger brother took away some money from my purse!!! But the way you would take decisions about certain matters, still make me proud. Once when the Gas Supplier came to the colony, I was not home and for you it was a big decision whether to get the Gas cylinder filled or not. You decided to get it and paid the money though the amount of money that passed your hands that day was big by your standards. You learnt what was more useful and needed investing in even when you had no elder to guide you. This is a judicious spending habit that you learnt. You learnt to value money and how one has to work hard to earn it.
I never knew that this would make you learn so many other good things as well. The person who values his own money, would value others’ money as well—this lesson you learnt by default. I don’t know whether you remember it or not, as I was not a big deal for you at that time as well, about valuing others’ money. Shashi Ma’am, your Social Studies teacher, who lived in our colony, told me once that you had been felicitated in front of the school assembly for reporting about the money that you found on the play ground. It was a big amount, perhaps two hundred Rupees that some child had brought as fee and had lost somewhere. The money was returned to the child and it must have brought a smile on his face smeared with tears. Your act of honesty brought you laurels but you didn’t tell me about it. When I asked you about it later on, your reaction was as if it was not a big deal. You don’t know my dear little one, how happy I was that day. I knew that you would be as much concerned about your interests as you would be about others’. But I was afraid, too, as the world needs the selfish types and not the philanthropists!
But looking back at all these small memories that make my universe today, when all of you are away, make me reflect upon these vis-à-vis your present attitude. I find that you have not change, none of you three. You have money with you, no one to watch or keep an eye or ask for accounts from you, but you are accountable to your own self. You make a judicious choice in spending money as you do in other spheres as well.
The lessons that you have learnt, on your own, during your childhood come handy to you in making a judicious spending a lifelong habit.
Is it not something that any parent would be proud of? You make me feel proud of my Litle one.