Common courtesy is so scarce these days! Unless you’re living in a cave, it’s hard to miss our culture’s current trend towards discourteous and disrespectful behavior. Whether it’s something in the news or a more immediate source – like the middle-finger brandishing driver who was tailgating your car – our daily lives (and our children’s) are filled with examples of rude, crude and thoroughly graceless conduct.
So uncommon is courtesy, that each of us can set ourselves apart from others – in a positive way – simply by being courteous! How about embarking on the practice of good manners from home?! And perusing it with the very first and foremost person in your life – Your Mother!
More (from mothers) is less for children. And less (from children) is more for mothers! Lesser affection, fewer visits, infrequent communication is still more for our dear mothers! She is contented with your once-a-week visit to her place; she will not complain if you have been over the phone for over 45 minutes – instead of being in the moment with her. The ‘more’ from mothers is rooted in love and needs no explanation, no meandering…
… She has WILLFULLY offered to provide you help, and not held on, just for you to come and ask her for help.
… She has LISTENED to you when saying something important, and not waited for you to interrupt her/her work
… She has NOTICED the special gestures or the special effort you’ve made, rather than ignoring them
… She has COMPLIMENTED you for trying your hardest, and not criticized
… She has THANKED you at all times for all the small favours you’ve done for her, and not taken you for granted
… She has HUGGED you when you were sad, and never the thought of letting you remain untouched in that moment
Here’s a little poem that I simply cannot hold myself back, from sharing with you:
‘Train Up A Child’ (Anon):
She could not give her children gold,
So she gave them faith to have and hold.
She could not give them royal birth,
A name renowned throughout the earth.
But she gave them seeds and a garden spot,
And shade trees when the sun was hot.
She could not give a silver spoon
Or servants waiting night and noon.
She gave them love and a listening ear
And told them God was always near.
She could not give them ocean trips
Aboard majestic sailing ships,
But she gave them books and quiet time;
Adventures found in prose and rhyme.
She could not give them worldly things,
But what she gave was fit for kings.
For with her faith and book and sod,
She made each child aware of God.
And of course, I am not ending this article, without paying a special ode to my mother, and for that I have permission from my editor, and I am gushing…
Mum, in your kitchen we’ve had bhakhras, dal ni poli, patrel, tarapori patio et al, and we learnt what it can feel to savour and appreciate!
Mum, when I fought with you to buy me the dress for my Class X Farewell Party, for all of Rs. 1000/- (year 1987), you were assertive about not making a big deal for something so small!
Mum, when you opened a Savings Account for your grand-kid, you showed me how to carefully choose what comes next!
Mum, in all your sickness and your disorientation, you have instilled in us empathy and tolerance; even to your grandson, you’ve indicated sickness does not mean giving up! And it does not mean giving up on your old parents!
Mum, even in your recent tiffs with your maid, whom you pick on every now and then, you still exhibit praise for her when she is on the deserving side!
Mum, your most beloved trait – that of kindness, placing other’s good before you, ‘vaat vaat par sakhawat’… we’ve learnt to be big-hearted and we’re only saying yes to doing what feels really good!
Mum, I know you love your son first and I come second, but I have learnt to linger in a second to make it feel like an hour!
Three Cheers for all the fabulous and most priceless gifts of them all – our Mothers!
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