Like Father – Like Sun
Some of us are born to be extroverts and make friends with any Tom, Dick or Harry that comes our way. Such people can talk to any person and smile at strangers with ease. That’s the way Vineet’s father was. But Vineet seemed to be poles apart from his Dad. He was fifteen years old and yet had no friends. He spent his holidays in front of his best friend – the computer. There were no phone calls from friends. There were no outings or movies. School work seemed to be such a bore. He just wanted to be by himself … always.
Time and again, father pushed his son to get out of his shell. Father would ask Vineet to meet his own friends and discuss ‘work’ with them. But Vineet would barely get past opening his mouth.
At school, Vineet would talk to his friends only when it was unavoidable. He was a little more expressive at school than at home.
One evening his father said, “Son, did you go to the gym, to talk to the instructor?” “No, Dad,” came the careless reply; Vineet was busy racing cars on the computer. His lack of attention towards Dad was as usual a cause of tension and annoyance. Every evening when father returned home from work, he would ask Vineet, “So son, how many hours did you study today”? There would be an endless lecture on the do’s and don’ts of life, on time management, on priorities in life, on future plans, etc.
But instead of understanding that father was genuinely concerned about his son’s future, the boy would get irritated at what he felt was ‘a daily lecture.’ When Dad would start, he would think, ‘here he goes again…’ and promptly shut his ears.
Days and months went by. The same scene was enacted every evening. But the boy was as non-serious about his work or his personality development as ever. He was a couch potato housing an extremely intelligent brain!
One day the father met a wise man. He discussed the attitude of his son with him. The wise man smiled. He said, “Have you ever observed the Sun?”
“Yes, of course,” said the father not quite understanding what the wise man was referring to. “The Sun, when it rises, gives its light from an angle. At noon time, it’s right overhead. Soon it starts its descent. When the sun is overhead, your shadow is the shortest. As the sun moves away and gives light from a distance the shadows become longer. The sun does not stay overhead for a long period of time. Most of the time, it’s shining on you, from afar.”
“That’s true,” said the father, with a puzzled look on his face. The wise man went on to clarify. “You too need to be like the Sun. Don’t boss over your son. Don’t stand on his head, so much that he feels suffocated by the heat. Watch him from a distance. Give him your protection and warmth from a distance. Whenever he looks up, he should see that you are watching him and shining your love upon him. If you tower over him, his shadow shall be short. If you keep a distance, you shall see his shadow growing longer. Give him the space he needs, don’t suffocate him. Let him think with his own mind. Don’t think on his behalf.”
Give the warmth of your presence to your children; don’t give them so much heat that they sizzle and burn out.
Yes, perhaps too many of us are bossing over our kids. We are crippling their ability to think. We influence their thinking before they get an opportunity to think.
It’s a good idea to emulate the Sun. If fathers could emulate ‘Like father, like SUN’, eventually he may end up having a son he is proud of and shall be happy to say, ‘Like father, like SON!’
Did you ever hear of a hot hug? No! But warm hugs from Dad’s are very comforting!