Of Chances & Choices by Kay S

"In chasing Money & Fame, we lose Time....

In making up for Time, we lose important Relationships,

In losing Relationships, we lose strength, peace of Mind & Trust,

In losing Strength, Trust, and Peace of Mind, we lose our Health

In losing our Health, we lose everything we have & end up Lonely!"- Kay S 

As I passed through life in installments, sometimes happily, sometimes melancholically, at times brave and at times frail and afraid, I learnt some very important lessons on the important pivots that define Life, the essence of it, and the lack of the same. During my sojourn, I was exposed to a lot of learning and readings by established poets, writers, philosophers and scholars.  One of things I happened to read that impacted me a few years ago was a couplet in Urdu that read, "Masroof rehne ki aadat kaheen tumhe tanha na kardein, Rishte ehmiyat ke mautaaj hote hain fursat ke nahin!" which translates to, "Let not the habit of staying busy end up making you lonely for relationships cherish & flourish with care and attention not convenience!"  This couplet struck a deep chord within me and I started paying more attention to relationships in my life and lives around me.  I noticed how much I had always valued the relationships I had with my friends, family, and the power of the Universe itself.  Each time I evaluated, I realized how much I had become an object of convenience to most people in my life that remembered me only in times of need and never were there when I needed them.  This occurrence over a prolonged period of time made me withdraw myself into an abyss of a shell I created for myself where I found solace in my solitariness.  Note that I do not state loneliness but solitariness because these are entirely two different dimensions of emotions in themselves.  With this state of mind, came a lot of internal wisdom which I had built upon and believed in since I was a very young girl.  As I look back at the decades I have passed, I cannot but feel elated, enthralled and excited about all that Life has taught me about myself, my relationships, my thoughts, beliefs, and very importantly on the sensitivity and sensibility of a good upbringing or parenting.

Most often than not, we have noticed that parents happen by accident and hence the disaster management after this is very crucial for both the parents and children.  What do I mean by this? Simply put in Layman's terms, "We are born by chance; our choices define who we are or what we create!" Each one of us, as I have stated before, did not plan to be born in whatever country we currently exist nor did we choose our parents.  We are an end result of a union of two human beings either by choice, force, or providence that more often than not happened due to prescribed doctrines written by a society or culture, carelessness in following the rules of contraception, or uncontrolled gush of emotions leading to a physical act.  Now, having been part of this act or having been a product of the above action, we can be termed only as a chance and definitely not a choice on this earth.  But, every action from then on should definitely be a choice that we make that will either make or break a future, make or destroy a nation, or cherish or finish the subtle and delicate relationship between the Universe and man himself. As the actor Ewan McGregor aptly stated, “The thing about parenting rules is there aren’t any. That’s what makes it so difficult.”

Coming to the main reason for our existence, I would like to touch base upon quite a few realities or facts as I see them through the proverbial rose-colored glasses you would like to or as I call it the clear glass that I live like and see life through. We come from a culture that for some reason would like to put us in a box with boundaries albeit imaginary but those that cannot be erased due to the strong psychological impact it creates in the mind as a child; but there are a few that break those barrier to become outcasts bravely and rightfully so. Not conforming to norms has been something I have been used to, norms that the so-called society, the power-wielding bastion, the so-called protectors of culture & religion have defined for us which more often than not is divisive, conflict-oriented, and blasphemous to state candidly. I always believed that religion was made for mankind like an instruction manual to follow akin to the ones we get for all the machines we operate that clear the states the DO's or ways to use it or operate it and very very importantly THE DON'TS very similar to the scriptures or texts.  These are doctrines or manuals that you follow and refer to when stuck with confusions in life.  To me they are like the lighthouse for ships on a turbulent sea; metaphorically speaking, isn't life a sea with turbulence, calmness, mystery, hurricanes, cyclones, or icebergs?  Think about it........Don't we all go through all these periods in life and when we hit an iceberg or rough waters, where do we really go or look? We look for solace in the supreme, an elder, a religious place or leader, or many of us crazy ones like myself find solace in meditation, soul-searching, or beseeching the God within us for answers.  All this boils down to one thing, upbringing and the values we are raised with, be it by our parents or the circumstances we grew up in.  The choice is always up to us to absorb the right and flush the wrong, but wisdom is all about knowing this subtle yet profound difference that will be of paramount importance for the lives we choose to live or the human beings we choose to become.   

Having said this, I believe one of the most important things to be able to bring some semblance of responsibility or accountability in human beings is by cutting the proverbial "Umbilical Cord" so to state candidly.  We as a culture are so used to mollycoddling our children and bring them in a cocoon of sorts where they are oblivious to the fact of repercussions, responsibility, or regret for their actions, decisions, failures, or lack of the same. Our duty as parents does not begin or end with giving birth to them nor does it continue with us cushioning their fall or covering up their shortcomings; it is a journey to a destination called responsible parenting where we make our kids responsible and accountable for all their actions, good or bad and the results of the same. It is only then that we can say we have been parent sans which we will just be birth givers who have failed abysmally to create a conscientious citizen of this world or country. We more often than not brush off our children's shortcomings by marking it up to immaturity or him/her being a child because in our eyes, they never seem to grow up and in their eyes we have put ourselves up on a pedestal, which is rather a skewed and defective approach to life. Children should realize and be made to understand that we as parents are just as liable to make mistakes as they do and that parenting is also a learning journey for us where we are constantly learning to be better parents and shed ourselves of the God complex that we put ourselves into. This will reduce a lot of disillusionment and disappointment when they find us falling short of their expectations as parents, because to be honest, children are also evaluating us and comparing us against benchmarks they have created for us or to their friend's parents who may be more successful or better than we are. Hence, the sooner we clear the air and face the facts, the better off we are as parents and them as children who have grown to be adults.  This is a journey that MUST start at a very young age not after they enter their teenage.

One of the most important factors I would also like to point out at this time is the urgent need to observe the Universe and the nature around us to realize that our misconception that things cannot survive or exist without us is as false as the fact that we can live without breathing.  Just the same way, we will need to stop giving so much undue importance to the fact that our children cannot survive without our constant existence or supervision in their lives. It is only when we let them live independently and make decisions by educating them on the pros and cons of their decisions that they will grown up with self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-esteem failing which we will have only nurtured parasites that will always need someone to cling on to for the rest of their lives. As Ellen Key aptly quipped, “At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.” It is important to note and re-iterate again that every chance in life can either be turned into an advantage or disadvantage, a success or a failure, a positive or negative action based on the choices we make throughout our lives. Being a parent is only a chance, but being a responsible and accountable parent is a choice. Marisa de los Santos, the Author of Love Walked In quoted, “No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.” Always remember that you are your child’s first role model who they watch while growing up and hence you should constantly be aware of your actions, decisions, and lack of it. Will you not fail sometimes? Of course, you will; but you need to be magnanimous enough to accept that you did, ask for forgiveness and not make the same mistake again.

This is a small endeavor of mine to start off a journey for those who would love to ponder seriously upon chances and choices of life and re-invent their journey or proverbial wheel of life to being more conscientious not just as a parent but as a human because who are we kidding….we leave a legacy behind in our children; let’s sincerely endeavor to leave a rich and beautiful legacy that the world will cherish rather than one who will be despised.


            Happy Parenting & Happy Brooding, Folks!!

        Kay S 




  1. Finally got down to reading this.
    I'm glad I did :)
    More power to you, Kay!


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