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Criticisms help one get closer to perfection. I'm sure most of us understand this. But, Tara, an 8 years old girl did not know this. And ofcourse, it isn't fair to expect such a young girl to understand it. All of us as children at many points in our lives have needed constant appreciation from parents, teachers, elders and many times our friends. And when we do not receive them, we feel disappointed, many a times dejected. This is what happened with Tara.
She had won the first prize in essay writing competition in her school. Like any other child, her happiness knew no bounds and she rushed home to share this good news with her mother. Her mother too was very happy about it. She congratulated her and asked her to read out what she had written. As Tara began to read, her mother heard with close attention. She told her that it was great but still needed some corrections here and there to make it even better. Tara felt disappointed and questioned herself as to why her mother was doubting her achievement. Still, she had learnt to accept all that her mother said.
Couple of years passed by and now as she started to pursue her passion for writing, she participated in many competitions that gave opportunity to young writers and won top prizes in all of them. Even today, after winning each of them, she has to share it with her mother first. Every single time her mother corrected more of her writings and with more politeness as she's a teenager now. Tara felt the same way again, disappointed with the comments. But she knew she had to go on.
Some more time passed and now Tara was a mother herself. An independent woman by now and an avid writer for different blogs. She also wrote articles for top magazines. This time, Tara had visited her mother's place with her daughter to spend her vacations. As they spent time sipping coffee one morning, Tara shared all about her articles with her mother. She waited patiently to receive her mother's reaction. Her mother simply smiled at her and said, "splendid, you write so well now". And then they continued to sip coffee. To this, Tara was amazed. She knew something she wanted to hear was missing. That night l, before she could go to bed, she went to her mother to ask her if there was something more she wanted to add to the morning conversation they have had. The mother simply asked, "why do you ask?" Tara replied, "All these years as I grew, you never stopped criticising my writings even though I won accolades. But today, you just said I was good."
To this, her mother said, "Because now you are close to perfection and I do not see anything that needs correction. If you had taken my criticisms negatively and felt hurt or upset about my remarks, you wouldn't reach where you are today or be what you wanted to be. Only a person who takes criticisms in his/her stride wins. And this is exactly what you have done today my daughter. You might receive more criticisms in life from people who come across but you must learn to accept them with grace to be better for your own good. Always remember- the gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trails."
As a parent, we all want our children to be the best and do well in lives. This is the only selfish motto of a parent. And since Tara also was a parent now; she understands the experience better. That night, she felt the most happy and proud of herself and her achievements in the true sense.
And today, when her daughter comes back from school with an A+, she says, "nobody is perfect because there is always scope for improvement and learning. You stop learning if you believe you're perfect."