I believe that life ought to be lived with JOY, especially when there is already so much suffering in the world.
But how does one live with joy in one’s heart when there is so much intense competition – from kindergarten right up to college level – to stay ahead of the pack, or just to keep up with the rest? A girl just lamented on her Facebook that she is miserable in college and wants to quit. Her friends tell her not to. “Think about your future – what are you going to do without a college degree?” She just needed more time to think about what she wants to do with her life. But everyone around her is telling her not to take that chance – not to follow her heart. There is no joy for her in learning or living right now.
A friend in Australia lamented that the stress of keeping her school-going kids on top of their studies as well as their co-curricula activities is elevating her blood pressure towards a dangerous level. There is so much to worry about in life – the risk of falling behind and not being able to keep up with others – can be a great source of stress. And now, with her health being affected, there is one additional stress factor to worry about. There seems to be little to be joyful about. They had migrated there so that the children have a better education. The question is: at what cost?
A neighbor’s 4-year-old child, greets me loudly and cheerfully every time he sees me outside my house. When I invite them over for tea, the mother complains that her son is too friendly and too active. She worries for him as he is unable to sit still in class to do his work. His teachers complain about him to her all the time. She enrols him in some brain-development program so that he can be more obedient and be able to sit still and follow instructions. I tell her that he is not hyperactive. He is just a normal, active boy with a curious mind. “But he is a nuisance in class because he asks too many questions and he touches everything even though I ask him not to!” continues the mother. Where is the joy of watching one’s child grow and learn everyday with a healthy dose of curiosity and wonderment?
We must not try to justify our systematic elimination of JOY in the lives of our children, just so that they can be ahead in the game. Most of all, we must not be Tiger Moms to our children and turn them into pussy cats with no will of their own!
Our children are not cats and we are not tigers!
So, to find JOY in your life, do these:
Hug your child everyday.
Smile 🙂 and say “I love you”
Hold your child – feel the warmth of the body.
Kiss your child – even if they are already “old”
Because no one is too old to be kissed!
Listen to your child.
Kids are not stupid – they have much to teach us if we only LISTEN!
Encourage your child. Do not put him down with your negative words.
Praise your child.
Children will not be spoilt by praise, but unfair criticism may destroy their will.
Cherish and enJOY your children. Before you know it, they are children no more!