Sometimes working from home and working solo, handling personal and professional commitments can be quite overwhelming. Today was one such day. The multiple deliveries of projects, online mentoring and reviewing of students, hundreds of mundane household chores, and above all my never-ending pursuit to hit the gym. Oh, My God, today was one among the exhaustive days with lots of certainty and uncertainty. What better than a long walk accompanied by the evergreen tunes of the Legendary A.R. Rahman to beat the tiredness. A man who doesn’t need a definition. I am proud and blessed to be born in this time of the evolution where I can cherish memories of his music. (Don’t worry, I am not going to talk to about ARR).
After the tiring and yet joyful session in the gym, as I step out, the dark clouds turn into the mighty shower of rain and make the day even more blissful. The half drenched me, gets inside a vegetable market to wait for the rains to slow down. As I remove the headphones and start enjoying the sounds of the thunder and rain, I hear two women conversing with each other. Judging by the context of the conversation and the tone, I felt they were in the mid-fifties and they had an interesting conversation about their children.
One woman told the other, that I am so proud of my son that it’s been five years that he is in the US, he has got a promotion, bought a house and settled in his life. The other lady congratulated her and added her joy. She stated that her son has finally agreed to get married to a girl from our own caste, leaving behind the past, and she is proud of her son. She added that the wedding preparations and celebrations are about to begin in a few weeks. They sounded joyful and marked this moment as the biggest victory of their lives. As I was hearing this conversation, I completely ignored the fact that the rains have stopped. I started my journey back home yet the conversation was still lingering in my mind.
After the dinner, here I am still wondering about the conversation that ended my day. Most of us would have heard this statement from our parents, friends, peers or colleagues, ‘I am so proud of you’. (If you haven’t, then you better say it to yourself and take pride in loving and appreciating yourself’). Coming back to the conversation and the topic, it took me to the moments of my childhood, and wondered ‘What did they actually mean, when they said, I am so proud of you?’. I kept questioning myself, ‘Where they proud of my marks, my salary, my career path, my decisions?’ I felt today that the statement, ‘I am proud of you’ was incomplete when they uttered to me in my formative years.
In the conversation between the mothers, it felt as if they were happy that their children listened to their decisions. I always wonder, why parents are so happy when their child agrees to get married to the person that they have chosen. Of course, in this world of love marriages, I also see family and friends who appreciate children who choose their own partners. But, I have also seen parents who feel proud and brag about their children, if he or she gets a job in the international location or buys a house or a car. Oh, I forgot, a green card, amidst the Trump chaos, is definitely considered as a celebration that needs to be printed on paper and rejoiced with near and dear ones. Is it a thing to be proud of? I doubt.
Rewinding my life, I feel, I have never seen my parents running behind any materialistic pleasures. Amidst the poverty and hundreds of family problems, I have always felt my parents welcomed every soul in our lives with positivity and happiness. As I grew, this was never taught verbally, but always shown in actions. So, we as sisters imbibed this naturally. We welcomed every person in our lives with warmth and love. Today, no matter where we and how we are in our lives, besides every achievement and failures, we know, our parents are proud of every relationship that we cherish.
I am proud of every relationship that is connected to me. I am proud to hold friendships that are 20 years old and still going strong. I am so happy that I am still connected with my teachers and mentors from school who have laid the foundation for my personality. I am proud of myself for being there for people when they most needed me. I take pride in loudly saying to the world that, ‘I have a partner who puts me first before himself and holds my hand in every step of my life’. I might not be earning so much nor have any property in my name, but, I take pride in giving back to society in every way possible. I take pride in honing my soul that shall feel content. And, this is what I am proud of, ‘My Personality. The Person Who I am’.
While many might feel and say, that I would realize the feeling of ‘pride’ in your own blood’s achievements when I have one. Yes, I agree, when my life is filled with the tiny tingly experiences of that soul, I will definitely be happy. But, I would definitely feel proud, only I would be able to groom him or her into a soul which is able to live a life of true joy and contentment. A person who feels satisfied owning beautiful relationships. An individual who appreciates the value of time of every thread of his or her life. If I could do this, I will be really proud of them as well as myself.
As parents and elders, be aware and cautious of what you are showing or teaching your children. Pride is a virtue that doesn’t come from the achievements made at every stage of life. Rather finds its roots in the foundational values and the experiences cherished in the journey. So, what are you proud of yourself? What are you proud of your children? And never forget, ‘I am so proud of YOU for the person you are’. Share your thoughts and experiences and help us to be better individuals.