Ask the question!

I learnt this yesterday from my 7 year old daughter. My other blog yesterday will explain more. As adults, we feel that we need to have answers to everything. If we don’t have an answer, we are not intelligent enough. More so, we believe that every answer that we have found, is right; because it has been proven over centuries and hence has to be right. 

As kids, we were asked this question so many times – “What do you want to become when you grow big?”.  I, in my innocence and under the burden to provide an answer,  and of course not knowing how impossible it was, wanted to become “A Father”. Hilarious as it may sound, it reflects on the innocence and beauty within each child. As children we are free with our thoughts. We know no boundaries. We think everything is possible. We just need to dream to make it happen.

My daughter is one notch smarter than me. She doesn’t get bogged down by the expectation that society needs an answer. She is happy sticking to the question -“What should I become when I grow big?” At first I used to laugh at her and think, she will not achieve anything in life. Over time, I realized she is still thinking about the same question and has not found an answer yet. And that amazed me! Rather than thinking that she is dumb not to even know the answer to this question, I am so proud that she is thinking about it and asking the same question again and again till she finds the right answer. 

It is sometimes not enough, just to find an answer. It is very important to find the  right answer. And of course, the first step towards it is to – Ask the question. Once you have an answer, don’t hesitate to question the answer as well! And don’t feel bad if you have many unanswered questions. It just means you are still searching for the right answer.

What do I become when I grow big?

Toyna (7 years): Mama, it is so difficult to decide what do I become when I grow big.
Mama: Why?
Toyna: Because there are so many things I can become.
Mama (thinking): I am so proud, she is asking this question, rather than just jumping on the most glamorous band wagon.
Mama: You don’t need to decide what you want to become. You try and find what you enjoy doing most and just practice it more and more.

Good Enough?

We often ask this question about things around us. Is this apple good enough to eat? Is this project good enough to take? Is this post good enough to read? Not only about things, we also ask this question about ourselves. Am I a good enough wife, lover, mother, sister, daughter, employee, manager, cook, listener, speaker, thinker, doer, …

The list of good enough questions is endless. 

Do we ever get answers to these? Is there ever one answer? How do we measure goodness and how do we determine what is good enough. Do we determine good enough from a point of view of ourselves or from a point of view of someone who is important to us – manager, spouse, customer, children, friends, society?

Like it or not, majority of us look for acceptance of ourselves outside of us. We are constantly seeking for signs, assurances and re-assurances that we are good enough to be who we are supposed to be! If you think about it, it actually means that we let others determine who we are and who we should be, what we should be like, what our behaviors and responses should be like. We lead our lives, trying to constantly prove something to others. The funny part is, we don’t even know what that something means to us.

It is like walking down the street with a whole bunch of stickynotes all over you. Each sticky note declaring you are someone. There are so many of them that no one can see who is underneath that bunch and worse, you are not able to even see which street you are walking on.

Try and shake yourself out of it! Peel off one sticky note at a time! Try and find who you are and find out if you are Good Enough for no one else, but just yourself!

Parenting Stories (and more) from the desk of an imperfect parent