By Shivi Verma
Good parenting is the cornerstone of raising a conscientious next generation, says Shivi Verma
I am often asked (especially by LP readers) how I can write with so much wisdom even though I am quite young.
And this puts me at a loss for words. I know I am an old soul, and somebody told me recently that I have spent a few lifetimes doing sadhanas, so some of it can be explained from that angle.
But this apart I would give credit to my mother and father for creating that perfect soil where a seed like me could germinate and find nourishment and nurturance. While most parents focussed mostly on the academic performance of their children, my mother and father slogged day and night to make us good human beings.
From the time I could read my folks would get me books on the lives of great human beings and masters such as Gautam Buddha, Lord Krishna, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and many books on the lives and deeds of brave, virtuous and compassionate children. My vision used to get so coloured by these stories that I would try and emulate them in real life too. Once in school during recess I collected my friends (I must have been nine years old) and cleared a vast playground strewn by leaf plates thrown about by careless children. Another time I even got punished by the teacher while trying to save a friend who, according to me, had not made any mistakes.
My mother, even though a working woman, would go out of her way to show us good cinema if ever there was one showing. And if there was a paucity of children’s film in local theatres she would painstakingly procure good cinema for us to watch at home. I remember having seen Charlie Chaplin’s films, and movies like Kabuliwala, Jagruti, Boot Polish, Jagte Raho and many others at home on a rented VCR. And how unknowingly the desire to be a great human being, who wanted to remove suffering from the world, and be there for the underprivileged, entered my heart. She would also get audio cassettes of children’s songs which made me starry-eyed with inspiration upon listening to them. “Insaaf ki dagar pe bachhon dikhao chalke, ye desh hai tumhara, neta tumhi ho kal ke.”
From the time I could read, my folks would get me books on the lives of great human beings and masters such as Gautam Buddha and Lord Krishna
My father too was a great influence on me. Though blessed to be in a powerful position where he could have made millions by way of kickbacks he stubbornly refused to sell his soul for money. And the motivation to be like this was not only a sublime sense of righteousness, but also deep concern for the downtrodden whose rightful share would be snatched if he compromised with his values. He was in the fertiliser industry and would often talk to us about the plight of farmers who were cheated by dishonest officials. Listening deeply to the stories he shared of great human beings he met in his younger days and how they shaped his character, used to leave a deep impact on my mind. He firmly believed that money through ill gotten means did not bring happiness or prosperity. He did not tolerate dishonest practices and actively worked to stop them as far as possible. And yet his decency could never be taken advantage of because of his bold and confident ways. With a mind and heart purified by lofty thought and high human values, no wonder I was a ready and fit case for Divine experiences. So when I called out to God in earnest, He did not find any blockages and hurdles in my mind and easily made Himself home.
About the author : Deputy Editor with Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately.
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