“when you are saying yes to others make sure you are not saying no to yourself” ..
A very practical quote, but can we always practice it? I don’t think so, especially if we are parents and the others are the children, whatever their age. Let me elaborate by giving an example from Big B’s most talked about film of the last decade, “Baghban”. There was this very heart touching scene in the film, besides, of course, so many other scenes or sequences that were all so heartwarming, one of his sons wanted to buy a car and requested him for funds to fulfil his desire. He did not have that much money and requested his boss in the bank he was employed in, for loan against his provident fund. Despite his discouraging him to do this as PF savings are meant to serve him when he retires and want money for so many of his needs then. But he did not heed to his boss’s advice and got the money to give to his son for the car, not caring for his own future needs. Clearly, he was saying yes to his son and no to himself. So many parents related to this sequence, who are all the time saying yes to their children, sacrificing their own needs. It is especially so in Indian culture, or I could be correct to say, Eastern culture. In the West, they call themselves practical people and do not think it advisable to sacrifice their needs for the sake of their offsprings. I give hrre an interesting example from our own experience in California when we moved to the U.S. after our retirement to be close to our son who was already settled there:
Our son, who was living in an Ocean front home in El Granada, a small town on the Pacific Coast, moved to a bigger house in Millbrae, a much bigger city near San Francisco, mainly to make us more comfortable. The day we moved to his new home, our next door neighbors, Herman and his wife Samira, welcomed us with a basket of goodies that included chocolates and a bottle of expensive wine, and a bouquet of beautiful flowers from his garden. They both became our very good friends, often enjoying my wife’s Indian cooking and bringing for us the best quality tomatoes from their garden. We often talked for long across our common boundary wall in our backyards. Noticing one evening that I came to the lawn without my wife, they asked about her. I told them she was not well, and within an hour or so they came from the front door with a basket full of the choicest fruits and, of course, the bouquet of flowers. Seems they thought she fell sick because of being overworked or worrying something about our children, as they gave her a ‘good’ advice during conversation that evening:
“Mark my words, you are number one, all the rest, whether they are your children or even husband, come after you. First take full and good care of yourself, then think of anyone else. Always remember, you are number one.”
And the couple is from Holland!