Daaji’s book is a beautiful account of the importance of seniors in our lives. In a world that glosses over the power of youth and demographic dividend, this book is a rare book that celebrates the unsung heroes – the elders, the silver citizens who are the real gold in our lives … especially in the context of bringing up the next generation and transmission of wisdom “heartful” parenting …
They say – “If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
Who are the people who can tell us where we come from… the only people who can educate us on our roots are our elders. And they are the wisdom bridges- it is the grandparents … people who have lived their lives … and they can pass on the wisdom from the past to the present to build a great future
It takes a village to raise a child… Raising a child is a team effort – now that surveillance network of grandmothers is going and you have Nannies over Nanis, there is a big erosion of cultural values that we can evidently see. Kids tend to marvel over Avengers and Animae and not Dada Dadi ki kahaniyan … bad habits like smoking, drinking, abusive language make you cool
Daaji talks of some key phrases such as “Nature Vs Nurture”, the concept of Epigenetics where genes you have inherited plus upbringing that you have shapes you… he says and I quote –“Wisdom is not taught. It is caught.” This can percolate effortlessly if there is proximity physically and a connect emotionally…
He shares some beautiful examples of races that relied on generational wisdom such as the Wayfinder – how they conquered the seas centuries before the Europeans did. Or the Shamans of the Amazon Forest, the tribals who understand medicinal use of plants better than most doctors would… But our pharmaceutical industry is often dismissive of nature as a source of healing. He says and I quote –“How cultures that worshipped the seas and revered the trees lost out to cultures that exploited the seas and axed the trees”- when wayfinder or shaman dies, a library burns down to the ground – all knowledge, all wisdom vanishes in an instant
Today, there is too much focus on how to make money rather than how to make character… days and months are spent in planning the milestone birthdays of a child right from baby shower and a birthday is planned every month of the year… these indulgences that make a child feel special rather than secure, a child feel exclusive rather than the grandparents feel inclusive is at the heart of the problem..
Daaji says that Parenting needs to be heartful, joyful where there is abundance of love flowing like a river… but today everyone wants a mouthful of sky .. where everyone wants only the best branded toys, strolleys, cribs, prams and then the biggest name in town for a school. But there is no school as effective as your grandparents who teach you everything from wisdom, emotion, feeling, intuition, inspiration
Our silver citizens who are the real gold in our lives. Greying doesn’t mean losing out .. it means filling up with experience.. wrinkles and scars show how one has been through reckless days and sleepless nights and there are many stories behind them
Today these Wisdom bridges have slipped away into shadows. People beyond a certain age are left to fend for themselves… those who move to communities and homes they get the healthcare amenities but will they get the atmosphere of inclusion we don’t know ..
On the other hand, even the youngsters tend to lose out…today we have homes after homes of super achievers – kids who know which planet and which asteroid, and know the composition of the universe but not of their homes, the family tree… also they can’t make a meal on their own, can’t wash a cloth, do laundry, iron clothes- total depravity of life skills
We must question who are our kids’ role models … and why they are swayed away are they mesmerized by some social media influencer and not influenced by the grandma or grandpa who have wisdom that no money can buy …
Daaji’s book raises some very important questions… its high time we gave the “Wisdom Bridges” their deserved due, more for our sake than theirs and gave them a place in our heart, head and home.