I met a long-time Safal Niveshak tribesman and a great friend Sanjeev Bhatia and his family yesterday. Sanjeev took out time from work to visit me in Chandigarh (where I am holidaying), travelling almost 100 km from his hometown, Ludhiana.
While Sanjeev looks pretty lean and young (as you can see above :-)), he has a couple of grown-up boys, one studying engineering and the other also looking to go that way.
Being from a family that has several engineers – including Sanjeev and his wife – it’s obvious for the kids to head in that direction.
So that’s not the interesting part as far as Sanjeev’s kids’ education is concerned.
What is interesting is how Sanjeev and his wife are leading these boys to manhood – helping them develop into honest and hard-working men…and ones that are going to be responsible with money.
How do I know that?
One, by meeting one of the kids and getting the positive vibes, and two by knowing that Sanjeev started early inculcating in them the values of compassion and ethical behaviour, and that of thinking and acting sensibly…especially when it comes to money – by teaching them from very early the key lessons like power of compounding, dangers of debt, and the responsibility that is required to keep one’s money.
Now, why am I feeling so nice about how Sanjeev is leading his kids towards a great life?
That’s the way you build a person
As Sanjeev and his family bade us goodbye, and I looked at my daughter, I considered what a massive responsibility it is to help such a small, totally dependent child evolve into a not-so-small, independent adult.
Being a parent, it’s something I’ve always considered seriously…but in that moment it dawned on me that over the next few years (and beyond), my little Kavya will be ‘educated’ about how the world works and how she should ‘work’ to co-exist peacefully with that world.
“Wow, what a great responsibility it is to ‘program’ kids,” I told my wife. “With her incredibly powerful and receptive hard drive, she is ready for the years when beliefs, values, perceptions, worldviews, fears, rules, expectations, and habits will get installed into her brain.”
“What a scary thought!” my wife told me as we looked at each other like colleagues about to get started on a tough project.
“Let’s focus on the process, not the outcome,” I said while looking at Kavya who was sleeping at my side, and maybe dreaming of a bright future.
Right now, she is at the “once upon a time” part of her story – page one, chapter one, paragraph one, line one.
But not for long!
In a moment, she will grow up. Before I know it, she will be fifteen, and then twenty.
It’s a good thing I’m always around to guide her (and I pray to God to keep me around for a long while).
It’s moments like these that make me realize that more than working on how to build my investment portfolio, I must work on building my children (my most important portfolio with just two stocks in it) into compassionate, honest, responsible, sensible, independent-thinking, and simple persons.
“And the only way we can do this is – by being such persons ourselves, throughout!” I told my wife.
“Yes, let’s always set the precedent,” she replied, “Like Sanjeev and his wife are doing.”
“It seems an uphill task, but thankfully we can always find inspiration in friends like Sanjeev and others who have passed this way of building a person, day by day.” I said.
Yes, that’s the way to do it. Day by day!
Whatsay, dear parent?