Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother knows best

My dad told me recently - "I as a father has been mostly concerned with the whats of your life. What to get, where to put you etc. managing finances etc. But it has been entirely your mother who has made you into what you are, cause it is she who made you learn the hows of life. My mom did the same too"

Mothers have vision and that is something which has been proved time and again in everybody's life. God created mother as he wanted to make sure he is there to demonstrate His selfless love through a form. And every mother is an epitome of Godly love. Many religions worship God in the motherly aspect as the Divine mother who watches over all of us.

But there is always a problem, we sometimes never understand that mother knows and does certain things with a reason. I very recently realized my mother's vision. I never knew it was one of the most important things she did. In fact whatever I am today, I realize has been because of her vision and foresight.

My mom is an excellent math teacher. She has been teaching students for over 2 decades now. However when I was in school, whenever I used to go ask her help with some problem be it math or science or even tussle with my friends, she will say "Try to figure it out by yourself and if I find time I will help you". Most times she could never find time and I used to sit all by myself trying to solve the problem with a lot of cribbing that my mom could not find time for me. I became and expert at sitting and hitting my head over a problem, even if I could not solve it. Eventually I could solve it.I did score good marks and I sometimes used to boast to my mom that it has all been my effort. She used to sometimes give me a problem and ask me to solve it. She used to say "I know the answer, but I want to know if there is a better way". It never occurred to me as to why she did all that. I used to crib "You don't help me solve my problem and you give me more though you know the answer also". But then I would sulk and nevertheless try to solve it. I used to play cricket with friends in my colony and there would be bet matches with neighboring colony people and whenever I brought an issue to her, she would say "That's your problem, you must find a way to adjust and play with them. Either do that or you stop playing cricket. All this while my dad used to observe me and keep a studied silence or may be give a knowing smile.I could not keep away from cricket though, so I learnt to adjust with all those bullies".

Then I came to University and study computer science and there again independent problem solving and the tenacity to sit over a problem was one of the key requisites. I could sit easily(even if I could not solve the problem)and people used to appreciate my tenacity. Many of my friends used to get irritated that even if they tried to tell me the solution, I would still want to try solving it. A most common phrase they used was "Stop grabbing the keyboard from me". There has been times where I might not get a simple problem but would insist that I solve it rather than look up at a reference or ask a friend. I used to wonder why I was like that.

Even in life situations, whenever I told my mom about an issue, she would say "Nobody can deal with your problem, better than yourself. Besides do not repeat the same mistakes. She used to get particularly irritated if I repeat mistakes or if I have not behaved like a gentleman. She used to say "May be others can do the same, but not my son. I don't want you to be like that. If ever I come to know that you have compromised on your integrity, then that will be the last day you will speak to me. And she used to insist that I apologize to people whenever mistake was on my side ". When I used to turn to me dad, he used to give me the same knowing smile or be a silent witness depending on the gravity of the situation. It was like"I could not agree more with your mom". I used to wonder why my mom is being particularly strict with me. In addition to my problem, she used to add this extra bit too. And my dad was giving me that knowing smile or keeping that studied silence always.

Recently my mom posed a math problem to me and said "If you want I will give you the final answer. Just figure out the approach. I said no don't tell me the answer, I will try to figure it out. And then when I called up my mom and told her :"Mom I am not sure but is this the answer,she asked me the steps and then my mom told me:" I knew you would one day become better than me. I am proud of you". And then I realized...All this while she had been nurturing me to grow into an independent problem solver. Not only that in making me face up alone to life problems, she was teaching me the art of living. Today when I look at whatever little I have accomplished in life, whenever I try to sit that extra hour, try going that extra mile, face up to adversity, or apologize to my friends for mistakes, I realize that it has all been because my mom trained me that way. Tenacity, independent problem solving, perseverance, facing adversity without compromising values are virtues which every management schools talks about. Those are qualities required for any profession. Those are life skills and my mom knew whats best for me.
I now understand the meaning of my dad's "knowing smile or his studied silence". He knew it all along that my mom was teaching me life skills.

So the next time you think you mom is saying something which does not make sense to you and your dad simply smiles or becomes a silent witness.Think again. Because "Mother knows best".

Proud of you mom. Proud of you dad.