What Home Is

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | August 7, 2022

Preparing the next generation is a mother ’s responsibility. The human generation is like a flowing river, where the water is continually replaced. In human beings too, the new replaces the old. And a mother plays the crucial role of preparing this new generation. The responsibility of supplying good human beings to every generation devolves upon her.

How do you define a good person? A good person is one who has the courage to face life; one who is endowed with a positive attitude, who is constructive and makes a positive congenial contribution to society.

What is a mother ’s role in this regard? Let us illustrate this with the example of Nancy Alwa Edison, Thomas Elwa Edison’s (d 1931) mother. Edison was hard of hearing from birth, and in consequence performed badly in school. He was eventually expelled as a retarded child.

But Edison’s mother played a constructive role in shaping her son’s future. She implanted the idea in her son’s mind that he was not retarded, and that this impediment was a challenge. She made Edison’s education her mission, and encouraged her son to use his natural abilities to overcome his obstacles. The result is that Edison’s name is now recorded in history as that of a great scientist!

It is commonly believed that one born into a wealthy family is fortunate, while one born into a poor family is unfortunate. Here too, a mother ’s role is to make her child feel privileged no matter what the circumstances, and that even if one was not born with the proverbial silver spoon in one’s mouth, one still had the ‘incentive spoon’! She should also show her children how most of the successful people are where they are today because they struggled and worked hard to achieve what they have achieved today.

Likewise, a mother should teach her children not to divide people on the basis of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. It is often seen that although certain individuals have been born into deprived families, they have risen to become members of the privileged classes! Therefore, the dichotomy is not between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, but between ‘potential haves’ and ‘actual-haves’. Therefore, it is important to have courage in life, coupled with a positive attitude. It is the duty of every generation to imbue the next generation with the courage and maturity to face the realities of life.

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