From many of the beautiful incidents from my childhood, this one I recall vividly right now, so sharing here.
Most school syllabus teaches, ‘life is not a bed of roses.’
(Such a negative thought to be implanted in a growing mind, don’t you think so too? But anyway getting back to the incident.)
Yes, I remember writing an article on this particular theme, when I was in 5th standard and also recall bugging my teacher and my mother with a question.
‘Life isn’t a bed of roses, but ma’m/mama I don’t want roses. I love that pink paper-like flowers (bougainvillea) Cant life be a bed of those pink flowers for me? If not, can I do something to make it happen for me?’
To give a context, I was a rebellious kid and would question every single thing and won’t shut down till convinced (goes without saying, quite a stubborn one too) So my mother always had a hard time to balance my over-enthusiasm with the conservative family and society, I was growing up in. She is a very spiritual person, so she would try to make-form a cosmic answer for me, which always sounded magical and put me into my own thoughts. But again she would always have to conclude with a statement: ‘focus on the syllabus’. My poor mother, how much ever she wasn’t in peace with her sentence-ending like that to her daughter, she had to do it. After all, the kid had to go to the school and the school loves teaching about roses only. There won’t be an article to be written on pink paper-like flowers. Only when you write about how hard your life could be, you will get the score. That’s what syllabus was for, SCORE. But she always believed, I have my spark, I will find my own way, my very own bouganvilla in life. Then the years passed, my questions and curiosity outgrew, the school system. I was finally out of the trap to explore more. In the long run,I guess my mother has succeeded silently against that monotonous system. Her optimism and trust, then has transferred me into a much stronger person. When people try to see how life isn’t a bed of roses for them, I want to find my bougainvillea. 🙂 And yes I have had a lot of ups and downs in life. Nobody escapes that, I dint either. I have been broken a thousand times but I have always come back from the dead and to be honest sometimes literally. But today when I look back I think, I have been much happier from within than most people I have come across. Life hasn’t surely been a bed of roses! But I never wanted roses anyway.
From our childhood, we are taught a LOT of things. Infact, our parents and teachers are sometimes extra careful about what we learn. We are taught to be civilised. To be disciplined, well sometimes self-disciplined. To be honest. To be dedicated. To be polite. To be concerned. To learn (which ends up in soaking of the lessons like a sponge right till the examination.) To believe in God. To be righteous. To be kind to others. To be selfless. To be this, to be that and the list is endless. And with all the teaching, our parents have gotten more and more confident about us, us growing up into beautiful human beings who will have a great career, have a wonderful family and then pass on the virtues to the next generation. And apparently that’s what should make us happy. You know! Our parents after-all look out for us and our happiness at the end of the day. Definitely they never mean any bad for us, but there is something missing from the core, over the generations.
As kids, we were never taught to grow up and be happy!
Nobody was encouraged to write the essay ‘My aim in life’: is when I grow up I want to be a happy and healthy person.’ Where career, money, etc. are the parameters of happiness for the world, I have always believed them to be superficial and very unnaturally self-consoling.
I say our schools and homes should focus more on kids learning to be happy. Happiness is an art and a religion in itself. The world will be such a simpler, better and a peaceful place, if only every kid is taught to inculcate happiness in his/her life.
For all of us who are not kids anymore, don’t worry its still not late. Lets try these little things that can make us and people around us happy every day. I have been trying these and believe me,they present you a state and there is nothing better than the state, when are content from within.
Somethings from my board (if it can help anyone at all)
1- Understand and remember your priorities. Don’t try hard for every single thing. Let there be some living.
2- Understand and always remember your source of happiness. This comes very handy when you are low.
3- Be kind to others but also don’t forget to be kind to yourself. When you are content, you can make people around you happy. But ofcourse don’t be out-right selfish, to hurt someone just to be happy.
4- Spend some time alone and try to be in peace with self and with the uncertainties of life.
5- Goes without saying, be grateful for whatever you have today. Always make an effort from within to be happy and to spread the joy.
And most importantly, life is short, so lets stop the rose-chase asap, and find our own bougainvilleas! 🙂