One of my Trainee Students, Sneha, called me yesterday at around 7 in the morning. She was super excited as she had to face an interview for the post of teacher at 10 am. She wanted my guidance on how to face the interview.
At 8.10 I receive a message from Sneha: I am not going for the interview because my mother-in-law doesn’t allow me to go for the interview. She says my kids are very small. I can’t handle them
I could feel the despair in her voice. She desperately wanted to go but only due to her mother-in-law she couldn’t. I advised her to talk to her husband so that she could at least face the interview.
Late in the evening again I received a message from Sneha: Had she joined the Spoken English course before, the scenario would have been different. She had guilt – not taking the decision at the right time.
The whole conversation – between the lady and me; between my inner voice and me – has been echoing since I opened my eyes this morning.
Why should a woman not cooperate with another woman? Why can’t a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law be a smooth relation? Why couldn’t Sneha express her urge to be a teacher? Why didn’t her husband step in? Is Sneha responsible for her guilt? There are many unanswered questions. In the quest of finding answers, the article ‘The Guilt’ is born.
Whether we have a boy or a girl as our child, he / she has to be taught to express – emotions, ideas, opinions, plans, choice. It can be as simple as purchasing a new dress for the child. As a parent and ‘a human’, never miss these questions – What kind of dress do you want? Which colour would you like to have this time? Which pattern would suit you? And so on. Don’t bother the child with your choices. Don’t forget every child is an individual. He has his own likes and dislikes regarding everything as you have. Elders tend to forget to respect this individuality. We feel we, being a parent, have all the rights to make all the decisions. I feel sorry for such parents. If you don’t respect the individuality, you insult the child indirectly. It butchers his self-esteem. He starts hating himself. Though the child doesn’t like the choice of his parents, he may wear or use the thing, but the child will never be happy. Slowly, the child starts repenting for being born to the parents. He may never express it in words but his actions are enough to say so. Such a child doesn’t speak much; he is happy in the company of his friends – at school or outside home where his parents are not present. As soon as he comes in the company of his parents, he stops being bubbly. He becomes shy. He will not do anything with interest. For such behaviour, many parents are either found scolding the child or getting worried. It would only worsen the situation.
The child feels guilty for everything happening with him. He keeps blaming himself. In extreme cases, the child is not able to handle the emotion and may commit suicide.
In the case of girls, they are taken for granted for nearly everything. Their existence becomes mere existence. The guilt of being born a girl strengthens. After marriage the situation either remains the same or worsens. She suffers silently. If she raises her voice, she is blamed for being loud-mouthed, bad-mannered and her parents are berated on her face. All this is a silent killer.
Can we bring about a change? Yes, of course!
Whoever is around you, irrespective of the age, gender, colour, relation, give them the freedom of choice; freedom of decision making, respect their choice and decision. If you feel the choice or the decision is not correct, explain the reason and the outcomes in mild words.
Every human on the earth wants respect. He feels happy getting respected. His self-esteem rises with this respect. And he reciprocates proportionately. How about respecting your child and in broad terms everyone? Give respect, take respect.
Help everyone strengthen his self-esteem, dignity by these small acts. They would never feel guilty.
Those who always feel guilty, a word of advice for them. Don’t blame yourself for every wrong thing happening. You are not the only human on this earth. There are many around you. Humans tend to make errors. These errors are the greatest teachers in this world. Learn from every mistake you commit. Most important – learn from the mistakes others commit. Respect yourself. Love yourself. Don’t take the responsibility of everyone and everything. The people around you are equally responsible.
Follow these words and you would be a changed human – cheerful happy individual with NO GUILT.
Trainer, Educator, Motivational Speaker, Social Worker, 9975465123 firstname.lastname@example.org
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