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Every mother has dreams for her child. And all mothers want their children to become someone important and successful when they grow up. I am no different. However, as a smart, practical woman, I did not want to impose my preconceived notions on my son. Instead decided to list all of his strengths and then find professions that would match his natural talent and inherent aptitude. For that I decided to observe him and his interactions a little more carefully.
The one thing I already knew was that he really likes giving others a chance to do things. It is his large heartedness to share the opportunities that he is blessed with. Like-he will let me pick up his toys and books after him. He will let the maid get him water, spoon, TV remote etc. The driver is allowed to carry his school bag. The gardener is allowed to remove the picnic leftovers from the garden. So, all in all, he is inclusive and allows for all people to participate, creating a sense of camaraderie (in this case, of serving him). Now some cynics might have a twisted pessimistic view but I think that this can be an invaluable management skill. We all know how poor-managers do not like to delegate due to their insecurities. Well, that’s not him. Given this important skill set of ‘delegation of responsibility’, the careers that came to my mind were business management and civil service. Nothing exciting, so I continued my observations.
I also made the most profound discovery last week when I went for a Parent-Teacher Meet. The month before had been full of disturbances and difficulties – an out of town wedding, shifting of house, his illness – leading to occasions when the homework was incomplete and the preparation for the tests was less than required and on an overall level his performance was less than ‘great’. But I love my child and refuse to see any imperfection. Hence I went full of ammunition to gun down any ‘concerns’ of his faltering performance in class. In preparation (or shall we call ‘over-preparation’), I had made my own list of ‘concerns’ on teaching style, curriculum, extra curricular, mess-food; even school timings. The meeting started on a cordial ‘praise the pupil’ note while I was anxiously waiting for the ‘concern’ cue. After fifteen minutes of discussion I realized that the ‘Concern note’ will not come. I was surprised. Almost disappointed at not being able to use my ‘prepared’ counter arguments. I decided to double check and asked the gentle question: what in your opinion are the areas of improvement? The teacher said, “He is doing very well in studies, his behavior and manners are immaculate, he is respectful to me and his other tutors. He even finishes up his food at lunch-time. God bless this child.” I was shell-shocked. I came back home in a dizzy but there was an important lesson to be learnt. No matter how poor his performance, he definitely has the guile and charisma that he would make others feel good about themselves and in turn shower praise onto him. Only one word came to my mind: Politician. I dismissed it quickly.
In my search for his other skills, I recalled something I have known for a while now. He has a natural talent for presenting coherent graphic descriptions of facts and ideas. A couple of years back, when asked by his teacher why he was late, he said: “I was coming to the school when the alien ship captured me to take me to their planet. So along the way I fought them, stole a shuttle and escaped. I went to the galaxy police for help. They suggested I take the bus to earth, which I took! But by then I had missed my school bus so I walked my way to school. That is why maybe I’m a little late!” Now, imagination, if not lying, is a critical asset. As we move from the information age to the creative age the world needs people with ideas. Filmmaking, writing, advertising are all professions that could open their doors to him. I was staring to get excited but was I closing the door of opportunities too early?
On further exploration, I observed that his most captivating strength is that of not being trapped in the competitiveness of today’s world. He would rather give the weaker souls a chance to taste success rather than hog all the limelight. He would start last in every race so that other ‘not so fast runners’ could win, he would do careless mistakes in the Maths test so that those taking after school Abacus tuitions can feel rewarded, he would refuse to study the maps so that those less traveled can feel at ease around him. Although some cynics might say he is plain and simple lazy, I think he is a giving soul who is sensitive to other’s caliber and sense of well-being.
So I now had all of his key qualities to start my final analysis. He is inherently lazy, non-competitive, does not believe in hard work (or work, at all), makes others do his work but at the same time he is very bright, imaginative, likes sharing and giving, good at communications; with a talent of charming everyone round and making others feel good about themselves. And I thought what possible profession could hone these talents. Well if he was good with literature, or Maths, Design or Dance it would have been easier to find a suitable career choice. And then suddenly, almost like a bulb lighting up in the mind, it struck me: Godman! Yes, you read correctly! Godman. He should be a Godman. Now Godmen always have a way with words and after visiting them, inspite of unbeatable problems and un-survivable circumstances you feel secure and relieved. And they always make you do things- especially for themselves. And most importantly it’s a life of comfort and unspeakable riches.
Every time I look at him now, I imagine him in plain but graceful saffron clothing, sitting on a podium giving Updesh and Gyan to thousands- no, millions of people in a huge marbled gallery. People holding on to each of his spoken words and showering Rose petals at him while his bankers work overtime to find the best investments for the quadrupling income. And in all of my visions I see myself wrapped in the lap of luxury and grandeur!