“You are as worthy as your brother is”—the invaluable lesson my father taught me!
It’s a very well known fact that a child is a reflection of his parents. The kind of environment he grows up in and the kind of instances he witnesses in his growing up years determine the kind of person he becomes. The formative years of a child’s life indeed form the very basis of who he is to become and it’s a very huge responsibility for the parents to make sure that the child is groomed to be an asset to the society and has a mind free from all kinds of biases. The kind of treatment a child receives and the kind of treatment he sees being meted out to others becomes the basis of his dealings with his oneself and with others and when it’s the child who now as a grown up has to take decisions, takes them with regards to how the situation was dealt with by his parents and it is absolutely necessary that the parents give him an example to follow and a sound ideology to live by.
Being the second child of my parents and the youngest in my family I was always the loved one. My parents never put me through any situation where I would question my own worth. I had seen my other relatives giving their daughters a less favored treatment than their sons but my father made sure that I was never a victim to any such bias. He would never question my dreams and aspirations, would listen attentively to all that I had to say and I have till date found my best supporters as well as critiques in the form of my parents. I was always encouraged to follow my own mind and learn from my mistakes instead of brooding over them. While my mother taught me to be selfless, my father never lagged behind in making me aware of my self worth and both these teachings make me the person that I am.
I remember one such incident where my father taught me that to him I was no less worthy than my brother. When I was in standard 9, my school had organized a summer geographical tour for us . Out of habit , right after I reached home I called my father and told him about the tour and the amount we were required to submit . He happily agreed to it. The same day an Uncle of my father visited us and when my father came , he handed me the money in front of his Uncle , who inquired from my father as to why he was giving me that money and when my father told him about my tour he seemed to be upset. He told my father that he was simply wasting his money and spoiling his daughter and what good it was for a girl to learn about rocks and landforms and suggested it was better if I spend the vacation learning to cook while the same money could be used for some other purpose and if I wanted to learn I could ask my brother . I was dumbfounded but once my father spoke I felt like the luckiest daughter. He told his uncle that to him I am no less than my brother and he would want me to learn and explore on my own just like he had wanted for my brother. This statement was enough for me and maybe my father won’t even remember it, it’s something that I would never forget. These words will stay forever imbibed into my mind and would influence many decisions I will have to take . There are many people out there who still don’t realize that when a girl learns something an entire household benefits from that knowledge so to teach her means to teach all. If a child witnesses bias right from his early years of understanding, he grows to believe that not only is it acceptable but it’s just the way the society works, therefore it solely depends on the parents to shape the child’s environment in such a manner that not only does he develop respect for others but also respect his own self and know his own importance as well as the importance of others.