TEACH CHILDREN THE VALUE OF HARD WORK
Appreciating our near and dear ones for the little things they do for us to make our lives comfortable is important.
Most of the parents today grapple with the same concern that you have expressed in your letter. However, you must accept the fact, that in many families, parents equate providing material objects with love for their children. Often, a child is seen flashing his new Parker pen or showing his expensive brand of sneakers to his classmate with the statement — “See how much my dad loves me and what he has got for me.” Also many parents have been known to bring home expensive toys and other gifts for their children when they are unable to provide them with enough of quality time. Thus, a child grows up with not only a wrong notion of what is actually true love and care, but also having very little value for the gifts provided to him and its money value, as he continues to receive them indiscriminately and where ever he pleases.
We can help children to value what they receive when we can teach them the art of appreciation. It begins by thanking God for a new day, when we get up in the morning. Appreciating our near and dear ones for the little things they do for us to make our lives comfortable is important. The word “Thank You” must not be said out of formality, but from a spirit of deep reverence and appreciation for the act done or the object received. Most of t he precious things in life are free — the air that we breathe and the sun t hat greets us every morning. However, not many of us remember to thank God for these beautiful gifts of nature.
The essence of looking for the silver thing in the d ark cloud is also an art of appreciation. We consciously make efforts to appreciate the little that we have even in the most unfortunate circumstances. Dignity of labor is another concept that we need to teach our children to value. Children must be taught to be respectful to the servants who work in their homes and to other public servants. Learning to be content with what one has in hand is not an easy task. Aspiring to utilize our maximum efforts and achieving a higher status in life is correct, as against aspiring to outdo our neighbor or relative and being greedy and self-centered. When we as a adults can learn to be happy and contented, our children learn to do the same.
Mahatma Gandhi on one of his village tours highly valued a small, short pencil given to him by one poor village boy. Upon continuing his tour, when he dropped that pencil on the road, he continued to search for it, till he found the same, and declined receiving a long pencil given to him by his colleague. Gandhi treasured the small pencil, as it was given him out of so much of love and affection. However, not the children today carry three to five pencils or pens in their compass boxes, even when two are more than sufficient.
Parents and children must learn to live according to their means. A luxurious holiday can be taken without feeling guilty, if one can afford. however, when children have learnt the value of hard work, effort and money, they will learn to receive when they get with gratitude and appreciation in their hearts and not take anything for granted.