A military commander’s three-year-old daughter was a bundle of joy and energy. The commander was noted for his strict sense of discipline. One day, annoyed with the child’s antics, the mother commented to the father:
“What is the use of you being a disciplinarian? Look at your daughter, so naughty and mischievous! Why don’t you infuse a little discipline in her?”
The commander took this seriously. He called his daughter and said to her. “Today onwards you should be well-disciplined.” She said, “OK, Daddy!”
“Don’t call me Daddy. Whenever you want to talk to me you should begin with the word ‘Sir’ and also end with the word ‘Sir””.
The girl immediately responded. “Sir, yes, sir.”
Even if she wanted to have ice cream she had to say “Sir, I want ice cream, sir.”
One day the commander went shopping and the little girl wanted to go along with him. He agreed to take her provided she sat in the back seat of the car. She agreed and when they had travelled half the way to their destination, he felt a little hand on the back of his neck and he heard her say “Sir, I love you sir.” The commander got the message.
For the little girl, he is not a military commander but an affectionate father; for his wife, a devoted husband; for his sister, a lovable brother; for his parents, a dutiful son. He can be the military commander only when on duty and amongst his men.
We play a variety of roles in life, depending on the situation and the people with whom we interact. But if we keep thinking of only one role, all the time and at all places then life will become difficult. We should learn to adapt to different roles. Then only life will be easy.