As I was looking outside to enjoy the morning view, my eyes caught a sight of a butterfly trying desperately to escape through the glass door. It flew from left to right, up and down and then went back to the left again. Of course, it was making no progress at all despite all the efforts. The irony is, there was a large opening just a few inches to the right! The opening was darker than the window because it was covered with a blind that were tilted downwards to reduce the sunlight coming in.
I could not help but thinking, "What if we were in the same situation as the butterfly?" All our lives, we may be trying hard to escape through the closed window when the opening was right there. Are all the glitters, shines and bright light good for us? Conversely, is there goodness in the seemingly dark side?
As I think hard, I could come up with a few learning from the poor butterfly.
Lesson 1: Struggle is part of life
All of us will have some sort of struggle through our lives, and struggle is good. It will make us stronger and more resilient. In fact, we must let our kids to experience some struggles in their lives. They must do things like washing their shoes, making their own bed or even ironing their own clothes. Let them work a little bit to get things done. They must learn to earn their living rather than it being served on the silver platter. Fortunately, hard work and struggles have not killed anyone; in fact, they make us better and stronger.
Lesson 2: Always take a step back and look at the bigger picture
What the butterfly was trying to do is to aim for the light rather than looking for the way out. In smart parenting context, all our actions must be guided towards the grand objectives of creating wonderful kids and a happy family. Parents must ensure that these objectives are well publicized to the kids. When we discipline them, tell them that we do it out of love. When we push them hard, it is because we care. Get the priorities right and objectives properly set. Do not let the daily distractions and annoyances throw us off tangent. Are we going for the light or trying to get out?
Lesson 3: When one way fails, try another
Do not give up! Train our kids to be creative in finding the solutions. We must walk the talk by discussing and finding solutions together with the family. Keep on trying new ways of resolving a problem. If they have difficulties understanding a subject, change the teaching approach. If relationships are turning south, quickly find new ways to make it flourishing again. Think out of the box or – in this case – out of the window!
Lesson 4: Not all glitters are good; not all glooms are bad
What seems gloomy, boring and dry today may bring us goodness tomorrow. Likewise, what seems like a lot of fun, easy and convenient now may cause us huge troubles later on. For example, students having fun now means less preparation for exams. Investors looking for easy and fast “investment” will be burnt in no time.
On the flip side, hard work today will pay off handsomely tomorrow. Small but regular savings will yield a fortune after some time. Submission to God in this life will earn His blessing in the hereafter.
Do you recall a Malay saying that literally translates to “endure the pain now for happiness later”? The butterfly failed to see this and continue to chase the bright light. In the end, it paid the price dearly – with its life!
Lesson 5: Open the minds, listen to both sides
Many people claim that they are open-minded but amazingly failed to listen to both sides. I am sure you have come across someone like this. Why, it could be us!
In the case of the butterfly, it should have at least tried to check the “darker side” out a little bit more. Give both sides the chance to be heard fairly. For parents, when siblings fight, do not take sides without checking the facts. Treat them fairly by listening and understanding. Time and times again, we will be surprised at the findings.
There you have it! I guess the only way to find out the truth is to listen to both sides. Venture out of the obvious and try things differently. Evaluate the good and bad in every situation. Give everyone his or her fair chance to be heard. Only then, no struggles will be in vain.
Teach our kids these valuable lessons too so that they do not end up like the butterfly in the window!
Sumber : New Straits Times
Nota : Saudara Zaid Mohamad adalah pakar motivasi keibubapaan dan penulis kepada buku "Smart Parents, Brighter Kids". Lebih maklumat mengenai Saudara Zaid boleh didapati di laman web beliau SmartParents.