PUBLISHED IN DECCAN HERALD 16TH NOVEMBER 2020
Parents want the very best in the world for their children. They do mind working very hard and trying beyond their means to pave a wonderful future for their children. They try to motivate their children in many ways. Sometimes they draw comparisons with a successful child hoping to urge their child to perform similarly or even better. It is during these times they inadvertently sow a lot of negative qualities in the psyches of the young minds. Instead of driving the child to do better they end up teasing their wards to rise their ugly heads. There are other times when they manage to kill interest or develop aversion towards the set goal.
The problem seems to be as old as mankind itself. A tale from the Ramayana deals with a similar case. Kubera and Ravana sons of sage Vishravas were half brothers. When Ravana was a young boy, Kubera the king of Lanka flew in his Pushpaka Vimana to meet his father. Ravana’s mother Kaikasi eyed the grandeur and style of her stepson and brought it to her son’s notice.
In addition to it she earmarked the prosperity and position of Kubera as a benchmark to be achieved by Ravana. Young Ravana made it his life’s ambition to acquire the same. Ravana was accomplished in every way to achieve all that and more with some effort. Instead of trying to work hard and attain a similar summit, Ravana coveted Kubera’s place and possessions. He fought tooth and nail to usurp everything that belonged to Kubera.
The lord of wealth appealed to his father for intervention. Vishravas felt it exceedingly difficult to make Ravana see good sense. Hence he suggested to Kubera to explore new grounds far far away from Lanka and start afresh from scratch. Since the Yaksha was intelligent, talented and capable, he decided to follow his father’s advice. He built Alanka famously known as Alakapuri, recreated prosperity and steered clear of Ravana.
Ravana for his part ruled over Lanka, the ill-gotten asset. Kaikasi had goaded her son to tread the unethical path by sowing seeds of jealousy in his psyche.
Like Kaikasi parents seldom take into account the side effects of their erroneous notions of motivation. Though parents think that they are not guilty of partiality, prejudice, unrealistic expectation or comparison most often they are responsible for these very drawbacks.