11 May 2010

If you mess up ...

My mother brought me up quite differently. She never lectured. Neither did she ever bombard me with a long list of NO’s.

No, don’t do that!
No, don’t go there!
No, don’t touch that!
No, don’t eat that!
No, don’t try that!
No, don’t talk to him!
No … this! No … that!
The endless NO’s of a parent.

But she did make one thing very clear. And that was: If you mess up, it’s your responsibility.

I’ve never neglected my studies or lied to gain something. I’ve never taken a casual approach to my job nor have i ever squandered my hard-earned money. I’ve never drunk, smoked or done drugs (in spite of the opportunity & temptation)– EVER - till date.

I have lived life my way. I’ve done some so-called strange things; taken some bad decisions; been to some bad places; befriended some bad people. And yet, I remain me. Uncorrupted. Completely aware & in control of my life.

That’s the thing with freedom. When you are free to do things, you become responsible! You choose wisely.

When you’re growing up, your concerned, well-meaning parents & your not-so-concerned, plain-nosy relatives, have only one fear. That you’ll be corrupted, by others! So they guide you with their version of right & wrong. They protect you against every imaginable danger. They shield you against every possible physical or emotional pain. In short, they try to live your life for you.

I am glad my mother let me be; let me live my life on my own. With all the mistakes I made. With all the lessons I learnt. Some bitter, some sweet. All my own.

And to think that she never went to school!!

I guess, that’s why, deep down in my heart, I have scant regard for ‘formal’ education. I have two post-graduate degrees – M.A and M.B.A. But, I know, they are just 5 letters in sum total. Beyond a point, it hardly mattered. They didn’t make me. LIFE did.

I don’t know if Tan will grow up to be a double post-graduate like me. Do I care? All I want is for Tan to be able to L – I -- V -- E. And remember, if you mess up, it’s YOUR responsibility.


  1. “As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility.”...I admiring u n ur talent n ur nature....u have gr8 thoughts wid gr8 heart...i agree all ur words...keep doing the the gr8 job...cheers

  2. My mom and I never got each other.She was like those 98% indian folks out there,trying to make decisions for their kids in each and everything.
    And thats cool ,you being a double post-graduate.It makes one look at oneself in a different perspective when you're totally self made.

  3. It does not require a degree to make a good mother, or father for that matter. Children need to be given age appropriate freedom to make their own decisions and sometimes mistakes too.

  4. To be a good mother one does not need a degree. And a wise mother knows how to give age-appropriate freedom to her kids. You are lucky to have a wise mom :)

  5. @zephyr: yes, i was very lucky to have her! u r right, no need of a degree to be a good parent :)