We frequently hear statements like ‘well brought up child’ or ‘sound family background’ when an individual is being evaluated by society around him.
And why not? After all a family is the training ground of every individual to become a good human being.
It is the place where he learns the basics of love, compassion, sharing, caring and the difference between right and wrong.
The best teacher is his family. A mother is the teacher who teaches selfless love and compassion, the father is the second name in reassurance and siblings teach the true meaning of caring and sharing. From infant to adulthood, the training is on-going. An individual learns to walk, talk, eat and feel as an infant. The adolescent years pass with studying behaviours and learning mannerisms. The growing up years are spent in building a value system based on the family’s thought process, environment in the house and personal experiences which form the basis of one’s personality throughout his life as an adult.
It could be as simple as imbibing good manners like respecting elders, good table manners or social etiquettes. The value system is another aspect that a family passes on to its offsprings -- things like speaking the truth, not stealing or cheating are core values which no outsider will teach us.
Having a religious and spiritually uplifting background at home is half the job done in inculcating the right values to children. Like it is the responsibility of the parents to teach and educate the religious message that our holy scriptures impart to our children at an early age as it teaches the right conduct to lead a righteous and successful life.
Let me illustrate this with a simple example. When it is explained to a child that ‘Life is God’s gift and only He has the right to take it’, negative thoughts like loneliness, depression and suicide will not affect him. Or, when he is told to always be in a state of gratefulness to the Almighty for all things given to him, he will start counting his blessings thus attaining contentment as well as empathy for those who have lesser than him.
The Life of our great leaders will also inspire them to follow their footsteps and thus keep away from all kinds of evil acts.
And of course, practical experience is the best experience. Children are known to emulate their elders especially their parents. Mothers are shining examples of love and sacrifice while fathers are the eternal heroes for most children. Their good conduct towards family, domestic helps, relatives, friends and others will be a lesson in practice which they will carry for the rest of their lives and pass on to generations to come.
So, it is the duty of the family to exhibit kindness, understanding and responsibility and be a positive guiding light for its children which are the future of the nation as well as the hope for good times to come.