Are you a Parent or are you their BEST Friend?

July 17, 2019

Parent Friendhip

Can we be both to our children?

There are so many people who believe so!

As a parent, you should be your child’s friend; but, can you be their “BEST” friend?  Should you be?

At the very heart of this question is the quote mentioned above- and in my opinion to raise your children well you cannot be their BEST FRIEND.  You can be close friends.  To be a good kid entails us, as parents, TO BE PARENTS.  How can we correct our child if we are their best friend?  How can we teach, encourage, feed, advice, “tell”, scold or do so many other things which, as a parent, you can do but as a best friend you cannot or may not be able to?

Practically speaking, even between friends it’s difficult (though not impossible), to correct your best friend– however, as a parent you don’t have that worry.

However, if you are your child’s best friend & vice-versa, won’t you spoil them to maintain that friendship level?  Would you be able to say something they are not prepared to hear?  Won’t you ‘let things ride’, which actually should have been corrected?

Can you actually raise your child to be a good kid yet maintain a “best friend” relationship?

I personally think NOT! … what are your views?

parenting friendship-mother-and-daughter-bond

(Image sources- https://www.ophosting.club/parent-child-friendship-quotes.html &  https://spanishforfun.com/parent-or-friend/)

 

The Sins of Social Media!

(Photo Credit- https://www.digitalvidya.com/blog/impact-of-social-media/)

May 22, 2019

Social-Media

The most hyped concept since the last decade – and growing ever stronger – has got some amazing advantages and strengths-

  • It’s brought old friends, & “flames”, together!
  • It acts as a mass “alerts” & warnings medium.
  • Sharing of experiences, travels, musings, ideas and what-not!
  • It’s characteristic of being such a positive influencer on one’s actions and thoughts!
  • …and so many other advantages each of us have individually experienced.

However, we have witnessed it’s negative side too ☹ –

  • Creating a negative influence and perception- and thereafter a mass “conversation” where none should have even existed.
  • The times when people have falsely posted a [perceived] negative experience about one of our hotels- when that’s not been the factual case.
  • The power of sharing a negative post without giving a chance to the party to first explain themselves.
  • How a post goes viral with, and by, people who have no knowledge of the events or experiences mentioned.
  • Once posted, the damage is done – to try to extricate yourself from that or explain your side of the story is too late. The damage done to the affected party can be very severe, cruel and unnecessary.
  • The problem is that the influencer sets the negative tone and content without giving the party a chance to explain their side of the story.

I believe the modus operandi is very simple-

  1. Never post negative on social media about another party (see qualification below);
  2. I have taken up my problems directly with the other party – and even if they can’t solve the problem, their explanation is enough to clear the air.
  3. On a one-to-one basis, first give the other party a chance to explain their point of view, any compulsions or limitations and, even, solutions. Why take it on social media without first communicating with the party causing grief?
  4. Lastly, if – and only if – your experience with the party is still so bad, would you even consider going onto social media.

 

“Karachi, thy name is Charity”!

April 17, 2019

Blog Harmony in Helping Hands

Karachiites have a fantastic appetite for philanthropy; and many times, it’s not advertised – these are the true “unsung heroes” of the day!

HARMONY IN HELPING HANDS is an informal group started by Rashna Gazder and which includes her piano pupils and guest performers.

Having a large group of budding & talented pianists, she realised she could use their talent alongwith her own in encouraging genuine causes in Pakistan.

As a group, they not only raise funds with concerts but also visit institutions regularly during and after the fundraiser.  As a teacher, she was keen to instill the desire of “giving back” – to give love and care to the less fortunate – in her students.

Rashna’s husband Percy and two sons – Dr. Darayus & Dr. Noshirwan – work very hard behind the scenes in supporting her rehearsals and donation drives, in spite of their own busy work & college schedules.

In all these recitals, Darayus complements each music performance with a befitting & individual video display.  In fact, it was Darayus who quoted “…true charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense”… now that’s true charity!

Even the guest performers – the likes of Azad Iqbal, Terence Joseph and Janelle Dias, to name but just a few – give their unflinching time and energies for each practice session, which starts months in advance of the final recital.

Not to leave out her piano pupils, who put in all the extra work, time and energies in spite of their own school classes, schedules and exams!

Harmony in Helping Hands has helped LRBT Eye Hospitals, Chitral Children’s Education Fund, Indus Hospital Children’s Cancer Ward, ABSA (The School And College For The Deaf) and The Parsi General Hospital.

Harmony in Helping Hands … truly, THY Name is Charity!

Blog Harmony in Helping Hands 1

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

(Image source courtesy- https://www.google.com/search?q=profit&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNmpuOvsfhAhUQlIsKHSlmDEYQ_AUIDigB&biw=1422&bih=652#imgrc=DgUdcZ0TJmCpBM:)

Profit doesn't grow on Trees

April 11, 2019

Business and family groups are defined by their philosophy and values under which they operate.

We have 4 core philosophies under which our family operate, one of which I’ll take up here –

We are in the business for profit BUT AT THE SAME TIME, we have a responsibility towards our employees & society.  It is our moral obligation to assist our employees where necessary.

Somehow, here, “profit” is a dirty word.  Why?

If we don’t make a profit, how can we plough our resources back into employee welfare & engagement and social uplift & charity!?

If we don’t make a profit, how can we support our own team members’ genuine issues and society’s charitable endeavors!?

We have a “womb to tomb” philosophy – that doesn’t mean we force “you to work till you drop”.  What it means is that for our Associate & Supervisory cadre, generally, we let them work till THEY want to retire.

Pakistan doesn’t have any safety net for retired people. What do old people do?  Where can they turn?  No government since inception has ever provided or supported them.  It is upto us to look after them – whether by extended employment or pension or medical or education.

But how can we do this if there is no PROFIT!

 

Water, water everywhere … but not a drop to drink!

March 24, 2019

water water everywhere

Recently there has been a lot of news about South Africa (Cape Town actually) running out of water soon.

I believe Pakistan – and Karachi especially – is almost in the same boat- international organizations have repeatedly been warning us about the impending water shortage, as soon as the coming decade.

There are many many articles on water saving but the government cannot do this on its own- we as citizens have to help out too.

Some basic water saving techniques which can PRACTICALLY be instituted are –

  1. Like Hawaii, the government should create water catchment areas for rain water – especially in Punjab and KP provinces;
  2. Water faucets can and should be changed to modern fittings/devices which save water. I saw a very very interesting concept at https://www.alteredcompany.com/ . Their water aerators/nozzles give a mist – they claim 98% water saving – giving you the same cleaning effects but at a fraction of the water wastage.
  3. Implement recycling “domestic” water for kitchen & clothes washing and things like swimming pools;
  4. Implement “Waste” water (from WC’s and urinals) recycling for gardens and exterior washings (can be used for washing cars, external patios, etc). Admiral Khawar showed us a fantastic recycling concept the Navy has started at Karsaz – I don’t see why can’t implement the same too;
  5. Mini DAMS is a must – starting from the north of Pakistan’s main rivers to as far south as possible, so that our fresh water does not drain into the sea and is instead used productively.  Some provinces have concerns that water from such dams would not be used equitably – but if Pakistan & India’s Indus Water Treaty of 1960 can withstand the “test of time”, I’m sure our own provinces can also reach a comprehensive, equitable & binding agreement;
  6. Implement drip irrigation for all our gardens and plants – if the Middle East countries can successfully operate such systems, it should be even easier for us to do!
  7. Tied to this, all water for gardening should be done after sunset;
  8. Domestic staff HAVE to be taught to conserve water (for that matter all our utilities);
  9. Let’s go back to school – literally – and immediately start teaching water saving to all nursery, kindergarten and primary school children!

What are your thoughts- how else can we PRACTICALLY help ourselves and how can the Government help us?

(Title courtesy “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge ; Photo courtesy of “Quotesbuddy.com”)

Common Sense has “left the building”!

March 15, 2019

common-sense

(Image courtesy “https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwin9JW8qYPhAhWIzaQKHcY_CEAQjhx6BAgBEAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fboldomatic.com%2Fview%2Fwriter-feed%2Fswag-fiir3&psig=AOvVaw22OoZgoM_sG5bt0ZPQKbzy&ust=1552711021351225”)

Does one really need to have “common sense” not to throw trash on the road from the car?  What about a car tail-gaiting a motorcycle?  How about when I take my mother in law to the Gym at the hospital and every single time, I open and close the physiotherapy door on my own with no one helping an attendant pushing a wheel chair – not the nurses walking by nor the people sitting inside!?  Hey, how about spitting beetle nut on the side of the stairs? OR, the worst, urinating on the side of the road?

Do we really need to be taught common courtesies – isn’t it ingrained in humans since we are born?  NO.  Thinking back, I realize, what I take as common sense now wasn’t perceived so then.  I mean, why should I litter my own city?  Why should I break the signal?  Why spit on the stairs?

So, the solution is going back to basics- EDUCATION & UPBRINGING … schools & family!

Not only do our schools need to teach common sense to children, starting from NURSERY; but these values need to be reinforced by the family too.  If one is taught as a child that – – – he/she should not defile the environment; should open doors for elders; should assist a wheelchair person; should not interrupt conversations (I’m good at doing this!) – – – that will stick to them like glue for the rest of their life!

So, the new generation needs to be taught (and reinforced) COMMON SENSE in their daily dealings in life and with humans, animals & our environment.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to welcome back common sense then.

(Thanks to my wife for editing this post first)