Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great realizations...& a touching story

I loved the book - Seven Habits of Highly Effective people, it is a great book... It brought about a sea change in me... 

So when I saw the book 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families' I wanted to read it to understand what insights Steve has shared in it. 

Apart from things I already know, I liked this lines

The desire to love itself is not love... Love is an act of will - namely an intention and an action. Will also implies choice.. We do not have to love.. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen to love and therefore do not love despite our best intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made. 

I will write a detailed review of it somewhere, I just want to share a story which really struck a chord with me... 

I came home from work the other day, and my three and a half year old Brenton met me at the door. He said "Dad, I am a hardworking man!"
I later found out that while my wife had been downstairs, Brenton had emptied a one-and-a-half gallon jug of water from the fridge, most of it on the floor. My wife's initial reaction had been to yell at him and spank him. But instead she stopped herself and said patiently, "Brenton, what are you trying to do?"
"I was trying to be a helping man mom," he replied proudly.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"I washed the dishes for you." 
Sure enough, there on the kitchen table were all the dishes he had washed with the water from the water jug. 
"Well, honey whey did you use the water from the fridge?"
"I couldn't reach the water from the sink."
"Oh!" she said. Then she looked around. "Well what do you think you could do next time that would make less of a mess?" 
He thought about it for a minute. Then his face lit up. " I could do it in the bathroom!" he exclaimed
"The dishes might break in the bathroom," she replied. "But how about this? what if you came and got me and I helped you move a chair in front of the kitchen sink so that you could do the work there?"
"Good Idea!" he exclaimed happily.
"Now what shall we do with this mess?" she asked.
"Well" he said thoughtfully, "we could use a lot of paper towels!" So she gave him a lot of paper towels and she went and got the mop. 
As she was telling what had happened, I realized how important it was that my wife had been able to catch herself between stimus and response. She made a proactive choice. And she was able to do it because she thought about the end in mind. The important thing here is not the clean floor. It's raising the boy. 

It took her about ten minutes to clean up the mess. If she had been reactive, it also would have taken her ten minutes, but the difference would have been that Brenton would have met me at the door and said, "Daddy, I am a bad boy!"

Previous posts on Seven habits here: 1

1 comment:

  1. Great story!
    Many a times we lose the track of actual purpose of doing things and mess up things by saying that they are messed up!