Another Pen Story of Tough Love

Once a favorite uncle of mine gave me a pen. This uncle was a soldier in the Indian Army at that time. Soldiers used to come home for a couple of months every year or so, and give gifts to everybody in the extended family. There was a sense of entitlement about the whole thing, and it never occurred to the gift takers that they could perhaps give something back as well. During the past couple of decades, things changed. 送礼者会蜂拥而至,,en,海湾,,en,马拉亚里斯,,ml,马拉雅拉姆语,,en,中东的钾盐民工,,en,从而严重削弱了可怜士兵的社会地位,,en,无论如何,,en,我从叔叔那里得到的这支笔是一个叫Crest品牌的漂亮的哑光金标本,,en,可能是由我叔叔在喜马拉雅山山脚下走私到中国边境,,en,我为我的这份宝贵财产感到骄傲,,en,我想以后几年我会拥有所有财产,,en,但是钢笔没用那么久,,en,它被一个大男孩偷走了,在夏天的一次测试中,我不得不和他共享一张桌子。,,en,我对损失感到震惊,,en,比那更多的,,en “Gulf Malayalees” (Keralite migrant workers in the Middle-East) thereby severely diminishing the social standing of the poor soldiers.

Anyway, this pen that I got from my uncle was a handsome matte-gold specimen of a brand called Crest, possibly smuggled over the Chinese border at the foothills of the Himalayas and procured by my uncle. I was pretty proud of this prized possession of mine, as I guess I have been of all my possessions in later years. But the pen didn’t last that long — it got stolen by an older boy with whom I had to share a desk during a test in the summer of 1977.

I was devastated by the loss. More than that, 让妈妈知道我很害怕,因为我知道她不会好心地对待它,,en,我想我应该更加小心一点,并始终将笔放在我的身上,,en,果然,,en,我妈妈因失去哥哥的礼物而生气,,en,坚强的爱的拥护者,,en,她叫我去找笔,,en,没有它就不回来,,en,现在,,en,那是一个危险的举动,,en,我妈妈不感激的是,我从字面上接受了大多数指示,,en,我仍然,,en,当我出发去绝望的错误时已经很晚了,,en,因为我本来不应该回来的,所以我根本不可能回来,,en,不是没有笔,,en,几小时后我父亲回到家,,en,在事件发生时感到震惊,,en. I guess I should have been more careful and kept the pen on my person at all times. Sure enough, my mom was livid with anger at the loss of this gift from her brother. A proponent of tough love, she told me to go find the pen, and not to return without it. Now, that was a dangerous move. What my mom didn’t appreciate was that I took most directives literally. I still do. It was already late in the evening when I set out on my hopeless errant, and it was unlikely that I would have returned at all since I wasn’t supposed to, not without the pen.

My dad got home a couple of hours later, and was shocked at the turn of events. 他当然不相信艰难的爱情,,en,离得很远,,en,或许他对我的字面理解,,en,曾经是它的受害者,,en,派克笔的故事,,en,较早,,en,他来找我,发现我在离家十公里的那所锁着的学校里漫无目的地游荡,,en,育儿是一种平衡行为,,en,你必须锻炼坚强的爱,,en,以免您的孩子在以后的生活中不为严酷的世界做好准备,,en,您还必须表现出爱意和爱心,以便您的孩子在情感上可以感到安全,,en,您必须为您的孩子提供足够的食物,不要过度放纵,,en,否则你会宠坏他们,,en,您必须给他们自由和成长的空间,,en,但是你不应该变得超脱和漠不关心,,en, far from it. Or perhaps he had a sense of my literal disposition, having been a victim of it earlier. Anyway, he came looking for me and found me wandering aimlessly around my locked up school some ten kilometer from home.

Parenting is a balancing act. You have to exercise tough love, lest your child should not be prepared for the harsh world later on in life. You have to show love and affection as well so that your child may feel emotionally secure. You have to provide for your your child without being overindulgent, or you would end up spoiling them. You have to give them freedom and space to grow, but you shouldn’t become detached and uncaring. 在多种维度上将您的行为调整到合适的水平是使养育父母难以掌握的艺术,,en,真正让我感到恐惧的是,您只有一枪,,en,如果你弄错了,,en,错误的波动可能持续的时间比您想象的要长,,en,有一次我对他不高兴,,en,我的儿子,,en,比他六年来要明智得多,,en,告诉我我必须要小心,,en,因为他会像我对待他一样对待他的孩子,,en,我们已经知道了,,en,我们不是吗,,en,我的母亲确实为我准备了一个无情的现实世界,,en,我父亲在我身上养育了足够的好心,,en,组合也许还不错,,en,但是我们都想,,en,比我们父母做得更好,,en,做个好父母,,en,就我而言,,en. What makes it really scary is the fact that you get only one shot at it. If you get it wrong, the ripples of your errors may last a lot longer than you can imagine. Once when I got upset with him, my son (far wiser than his six years then) told me that I had to be careful, for he would be treating his children the way I treated him. But then, we already know this, don’t we?

My mother did prepare me for an unforgiving real world, and my father nurtured enough kindness in me. The combination is perhaps not too bad. But we all would like to do better than our parents. In my case, 我使用一个简单的技巧来调整我对孩子的行为和待遇,,en,我试图在上述治疗的接受端想象自己,,en,如果我不应该受到照顾或受到不公平的对待,,en,行为需要微调,,en,此技巧并非始终有效,因为它通常是在事实发生之后,,en,我们首先根据情况采取行动,,en,在我们有时间进行合理的成本效益分析之前,,en,必须有另一种正确的方法,,en,可能仅仅是培养很多耐心和仁慈的问题,,en,你懂,,en,有时候,,en,我希望我可以问我父亲,,en,孩子们,,en,喀拉拉邦,,en,为人父母,,en,来自新加坡的派克笔,,en,上世纪初,,en,中国人和印度人大量移民到新加坡,,en. I try to picture myself at the receiving end of the said treatment. If I should feel uncared for or unfairly treated, the behavior needs fine-tuning.

This trick does not work all the time because it usually comes after the fact. We first act in response to a situation, before we have time to do a rational cost benefit analysis. There must be another way of doing it right. May be it is just a question of developing a lot of patience and kindness. You know, there are times when I wish I could ask my father.

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