They say cause of all sorrow is ‘desire’. Some people remain very sad for a long time if their wants are not fulfilled. But there are some, who can come out of their sadness pretty fast. They don’t remain dejected for a long time. I’ve always wondered what must be the reason in the difference in the degree of recovery from sadness. Recently I had a conversation with someone whom I know very well and I got to understand one probable reason for the changes in degree of recovery in different persons.
This person’s father had a tough childhood. He was very poor and all through his childhood he passed through a very difficult financial condition. To make it worse, he lost his parents while he was very young. Yet, with a lot of hard work, he completed his graduation, got on to a good job, got married to a nice girl and got two wonderful kids. By this time, he was financially stable, he had a wonderful family who loved him and life was treating him good. Since he struggled for food, good clothes, etc., during his childhood, he didn’t want his family to face the same situation. So, he started fulfilling almost all the desires of his children. Whatever the children would ask, the father would provide them. Of course, the children too understood their father well and hence were never greedy for things. But as they grew up, they hardly tasted a turn down for fulfillment of any of their wishes.
This person, whom I know, becomes very upset even when a small wish of his is not fulfilled or accepted by his wife. It may be a small thing like going out for a movie or a dinner or a weekend outing. If that wish is not fulfilled, he becomes very sad, gets angry, can’t get out of that situation and remains to be upset with his wife for a long time. He is also very keen on fulfilling all the desires of his kids. Be it watching a cartoon, or going out to a park, or having an ice-cream; he feels that those desires should be fulfilled every time or else how ‘sad’ the child would feel. Truly speaking, children often forget such things very quickly and are back to normalcy very fast. But it is the elders who are unable to let go of the thoughts.
His wife is able to let go or come out of any negative responses because she had heard ‘No’ from her parents quite a few times when she was young and had accepted the fact that there are some things which we get in life and some things that we miss. That we may not always get what we desire for. No big deal about it! So, her life is fine and she stays happy. But this guy gets very depressed and the worst part is, he does not realize that the cause of his sorrow is he himself!
From his example I felt, as a part of good parenting, sometimes when it is not possible to fulfill the child’s wish, the child should be clearly told, ‘Look son, this cannot be done’. All their wishes need not be fulfilled. The genuine wants should be satisfied but not all their wants. May be the child will cry for some time if he’s unable to understand the reason, but he will surely take home the lesson that ‘life may not give me everything I wish for’. And he’ll be prepared to face any turn downs or failures. By allowing all their wishes to be fulfilled, by not allowing to taste them negations; we might be making them ‘happy’ for the moment, but are we making them strong to withstand the ‘NOs’ he might hear in his life?