IT’S GIVEN – POLISH AND BRANDISH IT

In our school days we have studied about minerals and ores that are hidden underneath the warm bosom of our beautiful earth. And we know how the ores are extracted from the earth through mining. They are then refined to extract the valuable elements. That process is called Ore Dressing which we know very well. This ore-dressing begins with breaking down the ore to required sizes by crushing, grinding, straining etc. Thereafter, the ore is physically separated from any unwanted impurity. The impurities and unwanted materials are removed from the ore increases the percentage of metal in the ore. Then moisture is removed from it and further they are processed to separate the valuable metals from everything that are useless. Then those metals, say valuable metals like iron, copper and gold etc. are used in for many things.

I find those metals are very good allegories of the VALUES that we inherit genetically from our parents and ancestors. Though, recent research is suggesting that – the moral sense or values is largely developed after birth and requires particular kinds of experience. I don’t agree with these theories at all and the basis of their researches.

I believe, I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God with the attributes like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, faithfulness and just etc. These are all the innate values we have in us by birth even we are born to many different fathers named, ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’.

To prove my point I want to pose few questions before you…

“Does a child seek love from the people around him, at least from his mother?”

“Does he fight for justice if another friend does injustice to him?”

“Does he try to be faithful to his family members by obeying them sometimes?”

“Does he offer a chocolate to his friend or friends those who don’t have?”

We all know the answers to these rhetorical questions…

A child always likes to be loved, accepted by all or his mother at least. The sense of love is there within him and when his mother or father nurture that value more by displaying the value LOVE in the family he grasps it more, the more refined love. Similarly he has the values like faithfulness, kindness, being just and so on which he displays at times as well. Unless someone has these values within themselves they won’t be expecting it from others as well.

Thus, everyone irrespective of their religions, castes, creeds, coulors, nationalities etc., has those innate moral values within them though everyone doesn’t get the right atmosphere to get them nourished and refined to display them prominently and in a more useful ways. Some display the crude love, some display little more refined and processed love and some show pure gold like love to let the whole world dragged towards them.

Now, when the issues of selfishness, cheating, hopelessness, injustice come into the picture we totter and get confused. But let me shock you again… These are all inherited as well. They genetically transmitted to us from our parents.

Why? How?

It’s because of our fallen sinful nature as I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

But the good news is these are all not part of the image of God and can be pruned out, cleansed from, burnt completely from us.

How?

Let me get back to what I had started with – The Process of Ore-Dressing.

Just as the ore is dressed and purified so that the metal extracted is useful for various purposes, so also when the sin that stains the pure values by virtue of our creation can be cleansed so as to ensure that our God-given values shine forth.

The sooner we realise that our pure values are not yet visible, the more eager we will be to discover them.

Have you ever spared a thought to it? We are mostly satisfied in the values we possess and are busy transmitting the values that we are taught. And so, we fail to recognize the need to unearth the God-given values embedded deep within us.

My dearest buddy had written a beautiful poem for the occasion which I would like to mention at the end as a conclusion to my piece. Her poem is the cream of the cake that I made tonight:

My dear little miss
Let me tell you a story
In which generations
Have bestowed upon us
The value of lessons learned.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Embracing this child of new
I pass onto you
Nurture mother earth
For she is your home.

Lend a hand
Give a hug
To those who lack
Kindness and love.

Throughout your years
I will teach you the values
I hold dear
Inherited and gifted by God above.

(C) 8/2018 ME-sunderstood

Rise up and discover your values. You are worth more than what you think you are!

Stay blessed!

VALUE VALUES

All through this week we read some wonderful insights of value. And today I am going to share a small experience of mine which showed that values are really taught.

I stepped out of the dentist’s clinic at the dusk hour. The sight of children playing outside the clinic was quite refreshing to watch during that otherwise gloomy hour. Some kids were playing on the slide and see-saw some were running around and two little girls were playing badminton. I was glad that there was no rush of vehicles around because the dentist’s clinic was located in a residential complex and these kids were safe from vehicles. And so was I!

No, I am not scared of vehicles but that time I used to prefer the road less used by vehicles because I was heavily pregnant and a rushing vehicle often scared me doubting myself whether I can jump away if need arises.

Well back to the scene. So these two girls were playing badminton. One seemed to be about 5 yrs old and other must be 7 or 8. I didn’t want to cross their invisible badminton court so took a longer way but coincidentally the little girl hit a shot harder and the shuttle cock landed on me. I was startled for a moment and as a reflex I looked at the direction of that little girl expecting an apology. She quickly looked away.

Kids after all! Or so I thought. I was reasoning to myself, “I can certainly do with a little sorry! I am pregnant, what if it had hurt me?” And quickly the sane side of my brain told me that a shot hit by such a little girl is no way capable of hurting my little one inside my tummy. True that! I was glad that the sane brain stepped in at the right time and I was not mad at the little girl anymore!

I continued dragging my heavy body towards the exit of the complex and soon that little girl came running from behind and said, “Aunty I am sorry.” She smiled at me after saying this and she looked so cute! My obvious reply was, “No problem beta, take care!”. I patted on her cheek and she rushed back to play.

I turned around to soak in a little more cuteness and innocence of her and what did I see? The elder girl patted the little one on her back and said “Good job!”

It made my day really! A small kid of 7 or 8 yrs had made even younger kid understand that she owes an apology and the younger one understood! Wasn’t this how values are taught? We sure inherit a lot from our parents but IMPLEMENTING what we inherit is very important. And this implementing is what needs to be taught. That evening, that little girl taught the younger one a lot of values unknowingly, like being humble and modest and respecting elders.

The point here is, how we behave teaches a lot of values for those who observe us. I remember we had a chapter in primary school which explained how an otherwise irate taxi driver calms down when a passenger says a simple “thank you” before getting out of his taxi. After this small gesture of gratitude the taxi drivers stays happy all through the remaining day and he passes on that gratitude to other people he meets through the day. Those other people in turn pass on that small thank you to many others and the chain continues. Isn’t this a lovely way to teach values and spread its importance? Since then, I always thank taxi drivers, auto drivers, janitors and anybody and everybody who helps me even a bit. Initially my husband found it funny that i say thank you to random people but I shared the story with him and he understood the importance and since then he also thanks everybody who helps him.

Bottom line: Be good, do good. People watch you and learn from you. Never hesitate to apologise when you must, thank when you can, be honest and own mistakes every time you make one!

WHY ARE VALUES IMPORTANT?

Values …Phew !!  quite a small word, yet weighs a lot.

I have never actually thought about values, and how I am gonna inculcate the same into my kids and generations to come. It never disturbed me until I began to think about it. Ever since I knew my surroundings, all I see is my mom, who is dedicated as a mother as well as a teacher. For me, she is the one who tells me what is exactly wrong or right, and yes even though I might explode at times on her words, I have never ended up not following it.

Maybe that is Values to me

Values are something that actually lets us reach a conclusion on what needs to done or what needs to be said. It helps deliberately reach a choice of actually what we want. Values building up or I say piling up inside us, we react to the crowd around us.

I remember during my days of graduation, I used to stay in a hostel, where there were many like me staying away from parents. Some felt it is like a breath of freedom, even when holidays come by, they never wanted to go back home. They would rather stay in the hostel and spend time alone or with friends around. I wondered why ?? why will anyone don’t want to go home. As for me, a home was the arms of my parents, where I was safe indeed. Gradually I learned that they were never welcomed at home, they felt like an outsider.

What values do they inherit?

Where is family values?  Vanished into thin air. 

I realised a home should be where everyone is welcomed, cared for and never taken for granted. Even when people are far away, the only gravity that pulls them back to the home is the love and affection they receive. It is an important factor in Family Values, something that needs to be shared and gifted.

As I grew up, again facing challenges, qestioning the theory of values, I faced with the values at work, which indeed was quite challenging.

What are the values at work?

People are just behind, others pulling them down, just to reach higher and higher. It is hard to survive if you stick to values here. As professionalism is completely off-road. I had experienced the worst kind of work ethics to stay on top, and a fresher like me couldn’t stand it. As sacrificing my values for success, was not something I would choose for.

I chose my values and drowned in it. 

It is a great game of politics in organizational values that you have to encounter.  Honestly, I couldn’t survive, I was an utter failure as I burst out in anger and frustration, realising I couldn’t handle the office politics.

Was I lacking values? Or was it them? I am not sure about them, but for me, I forgot the strategical approach at one point in time.

In a relationship, the values are kind of fluctuating. A husband becomes perfect when they handle their roles well enough, not only as a better half but also being a parent. A wife is not just someone to share a bed with, but your equal partner to care for, love for. your children look out for you, to be the epitome of values indistinctly. I have been weird at moments, showing the worst part of me to my children, which I received the same way, at some other point in time through their similar reactions. Actually, it shocked me, rather than being dumbstruck to see a mirror image of me there. It was when I decided to change my self. To my utter shock, I was guiding them wrong. At some point, I felt I was wrongly mentoring them for life.

It brought me thinking, was it my values, that helped me correct myself there?

Yes, I guess, it was indeed the values I inherited – To accept the failures and turn them into success. My individual Values is something I showed up as an individual to the crowd. To me, personal fulfilment was prior to all, which I am learning gradually.

Indeed, at every stage of my life, I was learning values, and how important are they for Me.

Many values are never inherited, but it is like live training we get through experiences. Some teach us quite hard lessons, that we feel like dissolving, some others let us float above.

PRACTICE VALUES YOU VOUCH FOR

I, as an individual hold “generosity” in high regards of all values a human must possess.  Because that is what makes a human “A Human”.  If your heart is unmoved and untouched by other’s misery then you are just any other specie born on earth, scientifically called Homo-sapiens and just a link of this eco-system.  Nothing great to brag about, right?

And my very idea of being a human was shaped up by my father and in due course of my life I have met many people (some in my contact list and some unknown) who made me hold on to this value very dearly.

Talking about my inspiration, my father I would like to quote one thing best describing his outlook

“Exhibiting a value you believe in need no audience and no appreciation in reciprocation “

Yes this is how he was. I would like to mention one incident from his life that would suit the quote mentioned above perfectly:

We were having dinner when there was a knock at the door.  “Who it could be” was our question and when the door was opened my father found a neighbour of one our acquaintance in that area standing in front of him. “Yes, what happened he enquired.  They seemed to be in a hurry to finish matters “woh jo aapki bhasha bolte hain na unki tabiyat bahut kharaab hai aur ghar pe koi nahi.  Aakar dekh lijiye” (the one who speaks the same language as you is seriously ill and no one is around, come and check upon him) and left. It would be surely a wastage of space discussing such shallow minds here so I skip to the situation. When my father reached there the situation was worse than what he thought. That person was suffering all alone with dire cholera, lying in a pool of his own puke and faeces. That was a gross scenario to recreate. My father took him to the hospital immediately singlehandedly. Meanwhile he himself was drenched as that man puked on my father as well but that didn’t deter him from exhibiting the value he believes in. He served him whole heartedly and took care of him in hospital for two days at the expense of his own comfort till his family was back. But at the end that man for some reasons which my father had no knowledge of written off everything and uttered really mean stuff against my father. But as a real gentleman he was, he didn’t hold any grudge against him. When poked at being so generous always he said “neither his misery was planned by him nor my help was seek so why make an issue of an intentional act on my part. I was not expecting any accolades for what I did. And anyways we must not keep a count of our good deeds at least, someone else is already doing it”.

I have always seen him in this light. No complications whatsoever when reacting as a human to the other’s pain.

Coming back to the question “whether values can be passed as inheritance or not?”  Frankly, I am clueless. But surely to keep the values alive they need to be drilled in day in and day out. Since children imitate well it’s only through practice of values we care for, we can pass on to them the legacy, period! Had I not seen my father as a generous soul, doing his bit relentlessly how would I believe in such values?

REVOLT

Having seen my
parents in love
since childhood
no matter how worse
difficult times
tested their patience
I inherited
the art of loving
from my parents
as I grew up
society taught
me hatred

My family
is a palette of colors
my dad was black
so was my brother
my mom was wheatish
and I was born
with a color
that reminded
them of the beet
I inherited from them
to see colors as only colors
but society taught me
racism

It was Christmas
and
our neighborhood
were all celebrations
while friends believed
that
santa will
come down the chimney
to deliver gifts
dad amazed me,
“It is not father santa
who delivers gifts
but it is me”, said he
once again I inherited
honesty
from my family
but as I
stepped out of my house
I had to lie
to please my friend
to make my teacher believe
to compromise in my business
to be rewarded for promotion
I learned to lie
from
head to toe
to please
the society
and me

While I inherited
the core values
and
struggled to abide them
society rewarded me
incapable
inexperienced
immature
inconsistent
incompetent
and irrelevant
I was forced to transform
to adapt to
the social stigma
to play the
Life game

Values are inherited
but life is the
hardest time
that teaches us
the most
valuable lessons!

CAN VALUES BE SOLD FOR MONEY?

One of the talks really inspired me. It was a talk from CEO of iD Fresh Food. His name is Mustafa and he is the founder of iD Fresh Food – a very common brand for packaged ready to cook food especially in South India. They have a lot of variety of South Indian food like idly dosa batter, vada batter etc.

Mr. Mustafa was explaining his struggles while starting this venture. It was a very inspiring talk and one particular thing inspired me a lot. He mentioned how they were struggling to survive in the market and not getting any orders at all. They hardly had any money and they were struggling to keep the venture open. At that time they also started with some snack items with the hope to survive. One day, he gets a call from Hotel Taj. They were interested in doing business with Mr. Mustafa. He thought that maybe his hard work and toil has eventually paid and they are about to bag a big fat order. He went for the meeting to Hotel Taj and while talking to those people he came to know that the chief chef really liked one of the snacks that iD had come up with recently. Mr. Mustafa got really excited thinking that this deal is going to take them far. But something else happened. The chief chef mentioned that he would like to have that snack as a bar snack. That got Mr. Mustafa’s hopes crashing down. “Bar snack, really!!” he thought.

While coming back from the meeting, he thought about the deal in detail. This deal would bring them out of a huge cash crunch and it was huge business opportunity. But this deal would also mean that he is in some way promoting the alcohol industry. He asked himself and his team this question – “Should we help a chef of 5-star hotel in keeping their bar business going? Or should we help a homemaker who cooks food for her kids every single morning?” They pondered over the questions and answer was clear. They gave up the deal. He said in the talk that he cried that night not because he lost a huge business opportunity but because he was glad that God gave him enough strength to stand by his values even in the situation so adverse.

I could relate to this incident totally because we were in a similar situation few years back. We opened up a restaurant and it was a great venture (at least we thought so initially). But 3 months down the line we realized that it is not working out. We were out of money and out of patience. We had a lot of debt that wasn’t managed well. It was a very stressful situation. Just then the owner of the building where our restaurant was running mentioned that he had some liquor license available which he could sell it to us at high discount. It was a big deal which would have been profitable for sure. The residence area where our restaurant was located was full of youngsters – college kids and young adults looking for jobs in the city. He also mentioned that selling alcohol also meant that we open the doors to drug dealers many of them illegal but highly profitable business. So thinking what might happen if we really go for the deal – we would be encouraging youngsters to drink alcohol and take drugs. We would also be making money at the cost of their health and future. We did not have to think twice before saying a no to this deal. Even though it meant that we had close down our venture and that meant a huge debt (which we are still paying after 5 years of closing down L)

Values aren’t really values unless you can stand by them in the worst condition. Money is one thing that is the easiest temptation when it comes to compromising on values. But all you got to do is stand by them. Like it is a saying – “if you don’t stand for something, you will definitely fall for anything!”

HAD IT NOT BEEN TAUGHT BY MY PARENTS…

I hope all of us are familiar with values. It is something that guides our behavior in being a better person. We have so many definitions about it depicting how we can be a person with good values. Some says values are inherited and some says values are taught. I won’t land up in a conclusion stating which of them is true. Instead, I am going to share two incidents of my life.

There’s an incident that I always remember and sometimes I feel bad about it. It was the year 2010. I was going somewhere and I forgot my wallet at home. I couldn’t find auto-rickshaw and so I had to finally board a bus. I was sitting on my seat. A very old man boarded the bus after few stoppages. There were no vacant seats in the bus. So, he sat down on the floor. I stood to give my seat to him but was stopped by few ladies who told me, “it’s ladies seat and so how can a male sit on them”. I didn’t say anything and I sat quietly. And I was feeling sorry for the old man. The old man continued to sit on the floor till he found a seat.

Few days back, I was going somewhere with my friend. It was really hot sunny day. We were waiting for an auto-rickshaw. Suddenly, my eyes fell on to a bird on the ground. She was probably thirsty and was unable to fly maybe because she was getting unconscious. We didn’t have water so that we could sprinkle it on her. My friend lifted the bird into her hands. I went to nearby snack point and asked if I could get some water. I told the sales boy why I needed water. The sales boy turned out to be really helpful and quickly handed me a glass full of water. And said he would love to help more. We sprinkled some water on the bird. My friend took some water and brought it closer to bird, so that she could drink it. In a few minutes bird seemed to be okay. Though we missed so many auto-rickshaws but we were happy to save her.

Both incidents are quite different. Now, I must tell you my parents are really very kind and have always helped people. They believe helping others will solve half of the world’s problem. And I am really proud to have such parents. I am their first offspring and so according to science I have inherited many of their qualities and their looks too. Despite being the child of such kind and helpful parent I didn’t give my seat to the old person and chose to remain quiet after being stopped by ladies. And trust me I really feel bad for this even today. I feel bad because I chose to remain quiet. I should have said to those ladies that it’s not about male and female. It’s about helping the needy. I don’t know why I sat quietly.

That day when I came back home I told everything to my parents. My mother said, “You shouldn’t have listened to those ladies and should have given your seat to the man. You need to have good values.” That day my parents taught me about values. They told me it’s importance. And therefore, I helped that bird. Had not my parents taught me about Values I would have left her all alone.

Now, I think unless until Values aren’t taught the inheritance won’t help. Or maybe the inheritance works but teaching can really help in gaining good values. There are so many cases wherein children of reputed families do something unacceptable. So, in that cases can we say the child couldn’t inherit Values? If values could be inherited then what’s the need of so many preaching and books related to it.