01 October 2009

Life's lessons

We recently attended the birthday party of my husband's 3-year old niece. Now, this niece is among the first of her generation and hence a very well-loved child. She is the apple of her parents', grandparents', and yes, her great-grandparents' eyes! She only has to say something and everyone around her falls over themselves to do her bidding. To do her justice, she is also very cute and speaks in a charming manner. No wonder then that she has everyone jumping through hoops for her.

At pre-school, she has been dubbed as an intelligent, though adamant, child. On the occasion of her birthday, there were other little children present in her home who were playing with her toys. Whenever another child rode her favorite tricycle, she wanted to ride it just then! If someone sat on her dinner chair, she wanted to sit in it too. It was obvious that sharing her things, or even sharing the limelight, does not come easily to her.

So, it is a matter of some curiosity of how she would cope now that her mother is expecting again at the end of this year. It led to some speculative discussion among the old ladies present which I happened to overhear. The consensus was that the advent of another child on the horizon will invariably bring this niece down from her pedestal quite abruptly. This might in turn disturb the peace of the entire family for quite some time. All this however could have been avoided if the elders in the family had taken care to not pamper her with so much attention and adulation. Admittedly, there is a grain of truth in that.

The discussion led me to a philosophical line of thought. All of life's troubles are aimed at teaching one or more of us a lesson. The advent of another baby, quite possibly an accident, is for the reason to teach the joy of sharing to this child. Due to this, her parents and immediate and extended family might feel the pangs until she gets adjusted to the new arrival. So, even if one person in the family has a lesson to learn, the entire family and surrounding circle becomes affected.

This happened in my project at office too recently. We toiled hard for 6 long months and ran into all sorts of pressures and road-blocks before we could pull off the product release. The reason, as per my introspection, was because each of the key members in the team had a lesson to learn which manifested as various road blocks and the entire team was impacted. Thus, its best to look at life's struggles as a lesson; learn it humbly if it is aimed at us and wait it out patiently if its meant for another. No matter how unjust or untimely it may seem, it is there for a reason.


Random Blogger 3 (Amit Shirodkar) said...

Very nice post.
I agree - sometimes life's lessons are hard to understand at first. When a drastic change occurs, at first glance it may seem troubling. But later these same travails cause one to become a better person.

As Vernon Sanders Law said, "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards".

Murli said...

Came up to your blog the first time. Wonderful writing out here.

Living in Africa shows that lifestyle that one lives in elsewhere works best for that geography. Adaptation is the key. Human evolution has shown this too.

Veena said...

Nice post Neel,

Its really very difficult when life decides to teach us lessons - i.e. the process itself is very strenuous . And there are times when we go thru 'Why me !'.

But as Amit said, these incidents give each one of us an opportunity to grow.

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