The Mercury

You are judged by the legacy you leave

-

WILLIAM Wordsworth’s epigram, “the child is the father of man”, encapsulat­es the reality that most parents face.

Any parent will tell you that all they want for their children is that they be happy and successful – the ideal recipe for an ideal world. But this is not an ideal world.

The world has moved on since the past century. Where relationsh­ips were once initiated by physical meetings or arrangemen­ts between a couple, today it can be done in virtual reality.

Where education was once conducted by face-to-face interactio­ns, today it can be done by the touch of a keypad. Where physical cash was once required to transact, today it can be done by plastic or the touch of a keypad.

How many of us can assuredly say that we have inherited the character we had when we were children? Not many I would guess, that is if we can even remember that far back.

Circumstan­ces, environmen­t, peer and family influences, among others, constantly shape and reshape what we become. But in the imperfect world of adulthood and for those who are parents or even grandparen­ts, the notion is that when the baton is passed, it must lead to winning the race we started. Success is determined by a Mercedes or a mansion in an upmarket suburb. Yet, the intrinsic values of simplicity and humility that were once instilled in us seem to desert us.

Fame, fortune and glory are temporary, but self-worth and character go the entire distance, no matter the terrain. That gold nugget we relentless­ly pursue, to show the world that we are better than the next, becomes meaningles­s. But the value of the heart and soul that shape one’s character will live on. What kind of child would you have left when your story is told?

NARENDH GANESH | Durban North

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa