Spider's Web: CHEELA CHILALA
WE learn our first lessons from our parents or guardians, as the case may be.
What we learn as children contributes greatly to what we become as adults – which is why we should ensure that we teach our children the right values and give them guidance to help them as they grow.
That is the point of Proverbs 22: 6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I believe this scripture does not just refer to biblical teaching but also others such as the moral, social and cultural realms.
What we experience and learn during our formative years as children plays a major role in our character development, belief system, our world view, and attitudes.
Your childhood can set you up for failure or success, depending on who mentors you and how you are mentored. Thus the role of your parents – or guardians in the absence of your biological parents – is to ensure that you are fed with the right values.
What positive values did your parents teach you?
My parents imparted a lot of good values to me, and I still use them. They have contributed to what I am today and to whatever I have achieved today.
My father, in particular, deliberately imparted values to me and my siblings. I have developed principles out of them.
I hope to share some just to illustrate how my father’s values have influenced my life.
Some of the values my father emphasised were: hard work, honesty, persistence, self-belief, educational success, and trusting in God rather than such things as charms and witchdoctors.
Oftentimes he would say to me and my siblings: “I am not a rich man, but the best thing I can give you is education.
If I buy you a suit, it will wear out or it will be stolen. But the best suit I can give you, which will never wear out, which no one can steal, and which you will go with to your grave, is education.”
True to his philosophy, my late father was very interested in our education and did his best to send us all to school.
One of the best gifts you can give to your children is education. Give them the best education you can afford.
Do not be the type of parent who believes that just because you suffered as a child and went to a dilapidated school, and often studied on an empty stomach, then your children should also suffer.
You went to school to improve your life, and if education has improved your life, then give your children the best your resources can afford.
You can either set up your children to be a success or to be failures – and one way of setting up your children for failure is to deny them a good education.
A good education gives a child a firm foundation for success because education is the great leveller: it can give a poor child an equal chance of success as the rich child.
This is the point Mandela makes in the book “Long Walk to Freedom”: “Education is the great engine of personal development.
It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation.”
It is possible, though, to become an educated fool – which is why it is important to tamper the education we give our children with impartation of other positive values such as hard work, honesty and a strong spiritual foundation.
Thus, next week we shall share other parental values.