LFL # 39 =>Respect and Collaboration

A few months ago, I was driving on the expressway at 100 km/hour and there was a steady traffic streaming at that time of the day. My eldest daughter was on the passenger side deep in her thoughts and watching the cars merging ahead of us. I realized something was cooking in her mind and after a couple of minutes; I broke that silence and probed her with my queries on school life and friends.

In the midst of our conversation, she told me that she was unhappy with the current education system. I quickly glanced at her and asked her, “Why?”

“The methodology and process beg for change and I am on the periphery making this criticism. I want to get involved now and make a change”, she said.

I asked her, “In our last discussion, you indicated that you were looking at business as your core undergrad program and then, you would branch either in Finance or HR.”

She replied, “Yes, but I want to look at being a teacher now after seeing the problems within it.”

I responded instantly without batting an eye, “Sure.”

She was taken by surprise and looked at me exclaimed, “Dada, you’re okay with my decision?”

Keeping my hands on the steering wheel I laughed and told her, “You are fortunate that you are studying here. The system here is very flexible and I did not have that luxury. Once I decided to study Commerce, I had to complete my education in that field and then find work in the same space with no further choice”.

Nodding at my response, she looked ahead and said, “Wow, I can’t believe this that you made this decision in five seconds driving on the expressway. You are completely the opposite of all of my friends’ parents. They agreed to everything their children wanted when they were growing up and you gave me very few things that were absolutely essential and invested heavily in educating me on different aspects of life. Now they struggle to get a nod from their parents for a simple party and here, you give me complete freedom to make my decisions.”

Now I was surprised and became curious and asked her, “Why so?”

She replied, “Their parents feel they are better decision makers all though they have open conversations with their children. For example, one of my friends wants to study music and make it his career but his parents feel that’s an incorrect decision and are forcing him to take science instead.”

I said, “Hmm”.

Then, I continued, “Well, every parent only wishes the best for their children and they follow a certain pathway of raising them. Just remember to choose a career that will bring a smile to your face when you wake up in the morning to go to work. There are times when not everything works your way but that is how life is. Always learn and sharpen your skills, which should be easily transferable as you switch jobs and industries. Acquiring new skills as you grow is a learning process, which requires dedication and self-motivation. I chose good health and peace, as that’s important to me. But you have to choose what is important to you in the long run – a career graph, money or good health & peace like me. Learning how to make legitimate income through various available sources is what matters in life and everything else is simply noise. At the end of the day, this is your life and you have to live with your decisions.”


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