THERE was this mechanic to whom I always go for car servicing and body repair work. I had a car, which was previously fixed by him and later got badly dented again, with scratches here and there. So I decided to get it repaired before its condition became worse. Upon examining the car, he started shaking his head rigorously and gave me a disappointed look. “What happened? I remember fixing this car, made it so nice. Now see what you have done!”
I was shocked and lost for words. I totally did not expect that from my mechanic but after years of knowing him, I knew he meant well. But still, a mechanic who was so very frustrated with his customer’s car?
So I politely said: “Hmm, but this is good for you, isn’t it? It means more work and money for you.” That comment seemed to have brought him back to reality. He looked at me and smiled. “Yes, but it is not just about business. It always pains me to see my work end up like this.”
Learning moments can occur anywhere, anytime and can be taught by anyone. But I just did not expect to be learning a life lesson from my mechanic! I could clearly see his strong passion for cars and how upset he was to see his masterpiece damaged, even though it meant that he could get more money out of it. Now that’s something we don’t see every day.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Come to think of it, we all have our own masterpieces to create. It may sound like a tall order, but it is not impossible. In fact, creating a masterpiece can be a very motivating objective. In all our life roles, we can and should aim for this objective. Parenting is no exception. Our masterpiece is in the form of obedient, hardworking, responsible and joyful kids. They are enjoyable, adorable and fun to be with. They don’t create many problems and certainly would never cause us to lose any sleep.
But creating such a masterpiece is not going to be a walk in the park. It requires tonnes of patience, a mountain of passions and skills. When our kids push us to the limits with their demands and questions, patience is our best friend.
With it we will be able to meet, or even exceed their expectations in a positive way. In return, we will be a great teacher to our children.
Seeing how cool we were in handling their antics will teach them a valuable lesson about handling the pressures and demands of life.
Similarly, only a passionate craftsman can create an impressive masterpiece. Without passion, one may give up halfway. Fortunately, most parents are a passionate lot. They look forward to providing the best for their kids at all cost.
They give their children unlimited supplies of the material and emotional.
Kids today generally have a much better life compared with their parents. However, parents also need to balance the easy life with hard ones. To create responsible kids, parents must ensure that children take on their fair share of responsibilities. They must be held accountable for their actions, both good and bad. Kids who are shielded from duties and responsibilities can never be the best that they can be.
Once patience and passion are firmly in place, good parenting skills are the final tool in creating our masterpiece.
The skill will provide us with knowledge on the emotional and physical health of our children. It will also enable us to understand the changes in their behaviour as they grow older. Once we understand the reasons behind those changes, we will not be unduly worried when things are not going according to plan. Most importantly, we will generally make the right decisions because we know what we are doing.
A skilful craftsman will make the job look easy and stress-free, and in fact, enjoyable. The same goes with skilful parents. They stay positive and strong despite the difficulties. They know that there is a bigger reward behind all the meticulous planning and hard work. They never give up because in their minds, they can already see that a masterpiece is slowly forming before their eyes.
LABOUR OF LOVE
A magnificent masterpiece is created from the heart. It captures the artist’s best efforts, creative thinking and most importantly, the gentlest touch.
In short, it is a labour of love. Just like what my mechanic demonstrated, it was about passion, patience and skills.
We all can be this artist. The brush is in our hand, awaiting our masterful strokes.
We owe it to our kids to turn them into the magnificent masterpieces of the world.