Firm grip soft gloves

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Respect Love – does it spoil you or does it create you?

I have always looked up to my eldest brother, Hemant, from my childhood years.  He is like a father to me because of the age difference between us.  He is ten years older than me, yet he has always behaved in all ways like my dad.  There were moments when I would be so excited to hear that dad would be travelling so that I could do all my pranks with friends.  But to my disappointment, my brother would appear as a hard rock, appearing to be stricter than dad.

I had no choice at that age but to accept things gracefully and happily.  As I grew up, I realized my brother was indeed the right combination of a compassionate warm person, yet someone who was very firm in his beliefs and principles.  I grew up to love and respect him beyond words.  Something which I have always admired in him the most is his simplicity, his friendly attitude and, above all, his calm demeanour.  His ability to handle any situation with peace and integrity has been one of his core strengths too.  He is always able to put his point forward – without any anger and rigidity – that we would follow his advice.  (We denotes the five of us – four brothers and one sister.)

In one of my conversations, which generally happens during our morning walk sessions, I was enamoured by a phrase which he used: “Firm grip, soft gloves.”

He explained the phrase to me in a clear manner by saying, “The parent will always hold the child very softly, making sure not to hurt him.  He knows very well that his grip is very strong and firm.”  My brother, too, was living his life emulating dad, by keeping a firm grip (being the eldest) yet having a soft hold on all of us.

As Beloved Mahatria says, “Love is love when it creates and not pampers.”  I could realize the depth of these words and the reason why my dad and brother had followed this so strictly with me.  Being the youngest in the family and the only girl child, I was always over protected.  Yet they made sure I was never pampered in the wrong way.

In fact, this discipline had shaped our minds in a very positive direction.  In those days, it was very common for older siblings to take responsibility of the younger ones in a strict manner to enforce certain disciplines.

As times have changed, things too have changed…  The responsibility factor is there, but the way it is enforced has taken a complete shift.  I grew up in a big family and had learnt the nuances of living with different emotions nurtured under the same roof.  Things seemed fairly easy for me when I moved into a small family after marriage.  There were not many emotions to handle but rather ‘EGOS’ to deal with.  Handling them came to me very easily as somewhere, in my mind, my subconscious cells were being formed when Hemant was handling each one of us belonging to different age brackets.

I have learnt from him that being firm yet polite was absolutely possible.  I simply had to develop the art of implementing it.  Believe me, it worked like wonders for me to be with my in-laws and bring up my son, keeping in mind the phrase, “Firm grip, soft gloves.”

How this one phrase has helped me in my life as an individual (as a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law, mother and a teacher) is what I want the world to know too…

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