Moments of Truth

As I was driving today I saw a father guiding his daughter on a bicycle. It appeared as if he was teaching her. She kept losing his balance but he did not lose his cool.

I found myself back in time, to the time I was learning how to ride. It was the first day, we had gone to the shop to get my new bicycle. I had gone with my dad to the shop. I was under the impression that we will lug it back to our house and learn to ride it safely in the neighborhood (in my own time). But I was in for a surprise!

As we were coming back, my dad asked me to mount the bike and start riding. He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. So I did as I was told. I had never ridden before, so I was dead scared and kept losing balance. It was a few kilometers to home and the whole way, I remember tears rolling down my eyes as, I was pinched and nudged and scolded as I kept losing balance and kept falling down. It was so many years ago but the pain is still fresh in my mind. It was humiliating for me to keep getting scolded for something that I was unable to do. My whole thought was focused on just managing to avoid more tears from rolling down my cheeks and fighting the humiliation. I was not focusing on the driving or the gentle breeze or the thrill of the first-time-ever ride on my ‘own’ bicycle. It was a moment ‘lost’ forever. Trust me, I didn’t learn to drive that way. In fact, I learnt that I will never learn ‘anything ever’ that way!

I’m sure he felt helpless and probably, his reaction was atypical of what he did when he felt helpless. I’m sure he learnt to drive the moment he hopped on to a bicycle without anyone’s help and he could not understand why someone would be ‘dumb’ enough to keep falling off a ‘mere’ bicycle’.

However, it was a ‘moment of truth’ for me. I internalized a lot of lessons that day and as I saw the father-child today it all suddenly became very clear.

When with loved ones, you always have these moments of truths – ‘when they make mistakes’, ‘when things are not going alright’, ‘when it is time to learn something new’, ‘when someone does not seem to understand what you think they should easily’. At all these times, you always have a ‘choice’. You can choose to get angry and irritated or stay patient and calm and be loving and understanding. For great bonds and lasting friendships are not built on negative emotions but on empathy, love, patience and understanding.

Every time, the little bubble of ‘anger’ or ‘irritation’ bubbles up near your throat at these moments – you can choose to let it go, you can choose to swallow it and be PATIENT and be UNDERSTANDING. Those moments show strength of character, those moments are cherished, those moments show ‘I LOVE YOU’ more than anything else does!

Have you ever had any of these ‘moments of truths’ in your life? Do you seize them and make it worthwhile or let yourself get carried away?

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