Bear Grylls (from Man vs Wild, the amazing TV show) recently did a special episode with Indian actor Akshay Kumar. It was probably not as wild as his other episodes, but he did make AK drink fresh elephant-dung-tea. So full points for that.
The heart to heart conversations between the two were nice. AK spoke of his humble beginnings – serving as a waiter in Thailand, and simultaneously learning martial arts, and then getting a break in modelling and thereafter in acting. He also stressed upon the need to be good parents. To never build in his children a sense of entitlement, them having been born with a silver spoon.
This is an important point. Most parents today pamper their kids no end. It is not uncommon to witness 5 year olds in posh neighbourhoods throw tantrums while getting picked up from school by the household’s second car (Hyundai) because it is not as good as their first car (Mercedes). Parents too think “Oh my sweet little baby. Let him/her have all the best luxuries in life, because I struggled so much to become successful.” And then when the kids grow up and don’t listen to their parents or talk back, the parents are distraught. What else were they expecting? Success doesn’t come easy. If it does, then it is highly unlikely to be valued, and hence sustain.
The ancient Indian advice on raising kids is amazing. “From their birth to age 4, treat your kids like Gods. From 5 to 15, treat them like servants. From 16 onwards, treat them like your best friends.” The word ‘servant’ is one some may take offence to. But the world is a harsh place, and doesn’t care what one’s upbringing has been like. Getting kids to work their backsides off ensures they not only understand the importance of working hard, but are also physically attuned to putting in their blood, sweat and tears whenever required. Kids must be readied for survival, otherwise they are only being plumped up for sacrifice.