There was this Advertisement on Indian TV channels long back in which a lady dressed up in a business suit walks down the road, but seeing a group of children playing with the skipping rope, breaks into a girly act and starts skipping with the kids. Her lady-like poise suddenly takes a back seat when she chooses to become a kid with the kids.
This ability to become a child when in the company of these small wonders is beautiful. Otherwise also, being able to do silly little things and laugh and enjoy like a child is quality, I think we should have. There is a child in all of us, our innocent self, our playful self. Ever tried getting in touch with that child?
Here, I am not talking about being childish, ie., immature behaviour. In psychology, there is theory called Transactional Analysis, it says that every person has three ego states – child ego, parent ego and adult ego. A conflict arises when two people in different ego states are communicating. Example, an employer asks a young girl, an employee, about the reason that she is late for work (adult ego state, expecting an adult to respond). And the girl, giggles like a child and tells some funny reason (child ego state responding), and hence anger gets generated in the employer, ie., the conflict.
So, the point is I am not talking about child ego state of a person. Rather, about our innocent and playful childlike self, which can appreciate the world in a better way, than we as adults can do.
In our country, even now, girls are burdened with household chores at a young age. I would call it burden, because girls, just like boys, have to work equally hard for studies, and boys are never told to help the mother in kitchen or something. On the other hand, girls are expected to learn making tea, boiling rice, slicing vegetables, arranging and clearing dinner table etc. While boys, at max, are taught to run to a local shop to buy little grocery things. So gender roles are assigned very young in life.
After marriage, a girl has to play various roles of being a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, an aunt, then a mother, a teacher (of her kids), a home maker, a professional (depending on need), a house keeper, a nutritionist, an aware parent (it differs from being a parent) etc. While men, generally, earn money for the family and do not really think it is their job to help wife in domestic work, he will do but, always show that actually it is not HIS work.
These multifarious roles actually makes her forget that she is a girl or a woman also. Women tend to forget about what they liked, what they desired, what were their hobbies, how do they look (only a small fraction of urban women are an exception) etc.
I think, its time you, the reader -man or woman- find that ME-TIME, for yourself, ie., your own personal space and your time for yourself. Find that little thing you always wanted to pursue as a hobby, try to do it in a little way (As for me I never gave up on poetry and sketching, will be sharing them too!). Indulge in what you like the most – reading, drawing, learning an art form, may be dressing up, anything. I have personally, always believed in keeping that little girl alive in me. So, a few months back I started oil painting, despite discouragement, and could finish one painting, finding little time every week for it.
So next time, when you look into the mirror, don’t look at the mother, or the wife, or the husband, or the father in you, but look at YOU, the person you, the little child in you and listen to what he or she tells you.
All the best!
PS: Just a word, on why I made the content gender specific -it’s because I feel, it’s women more than men who neglect themselves in Indian society. But, it applies to men as well, as they too tend to forget about what they liked while playing various roles in life.
(Picture courtesy Nianguche)