In Mumbai we lead our lives in a supersonic speed. We live in high rise building but barely know our neighbours. In such times it is next to impossible to smile at them or help them in small ways.
“Neeki Kar Dariya mein Daal” is an age old proverb that we have heard since so many years. It means just do a good deed and then forget about it, when time comes, your karma will help you.
Now here is a gentleman, who is trying to change the concept a little. How? His idea is simple, Do a good deed for someone and then ask that someone to do a good deed for the next person. So here we have a Diamond Merchant and a Philantrophist, Rushabh Turakhia, share his life as a father and his journey with Your Turn Now.
Parenting involves both mother and father. Till date we have interacted with many multi-tasking and dynamic moms. Here is one such Dad.
1. Tell us about yourself. Details of family, education and professional experience.
My name is Rushabh Turakhia and I am a diamond merchant by profession with an MBA degree in Marketing
2. How did you feel when you first held your child.
Being inside the operation theater awaiting for someone who is your a part of you , your own blood , the one who is going to give birth to a dad/father can actually not be put into words . However, when I first held my son, I finally came to know what unconditional love is. A person who never cries, then had tears in his eyes, and till date holding him tight, sleeping next to him, hugging him, gives the same feeling. I was thankful that both my partner and baby were healthy.
3. Tell us about Your Turn Now and how do you plan to contribute in changing the world with YTN.
The Your Turn Now Movement is something very close to my heart, as it emphasises on one of the most important values -Kindness. This movement was born in December 2009 and has spread across the globe in over 46 countries
So what is this movement all about ??
Well it’s a little blue card that says “Someone did a nameless act of kindness that touched your heart. It’s your turn now to multiply this feeling and pass on the card.”
Thus this card is given to the person on whom a kind act is conferred.
These Your Turn Now cards are available in 10 different languages as well, namely English, Hindi, French, Spanish, Arabic etc.
As I mentioned the Your Turn Now is a kindness movement, it is a kindness chain which is slowly and steadily spreading like kind fire.
With my workshops on kindness and talks at rotary clubs, schools and colleges, corporates etc, the one and only message I spread is the need and importance of being kind. I also share simple and easy to perform random acts which inspires, motivates and encourages the listeners to keep the kindness chain going and thus pass on the little blue kindness card.
Hence with my movement I aim to touch hearts, spread smiles, touch lives and make this world a better and kinder place to live and I would like everyone to just believe that kindness should be the only religion.
4. What motivated you to start YTN ?
My grandfather being a philanthropist, I have grown up listening to stories having great values and virtues. However I saw that today these are lost in thin air. Everyone is so lost with their own thing, and some in a rat race that no one really cares for the other & even the environment. I felt kindness is the need of the hour and then came the movie Pay it forward which became the turning point and thus started the Your Turn Now movement.
5. Why does our society lack empathy? Is there a major failure in our education system to teach us empathy?
Empathy is a value a virtue which if not embedded in the early years and further if not role modeled by a parent to his / her child it cannot exist neither will it have any importance . Empathy I don’t really think can be taught it has to imbibe. It has to co-exist and given due importance like breathing and has to be role modeled and further put into action. Empathy can build positive classroom culture, if every school, stream inculcates it, not just as another subject but something which is followed like a culture. Even if taught at school, it’s the non supportive or opposing parent/surrounding which dilutes the whole effect. Empathy is something that should be practiced rather implemented every day.
6. Despite this busy schedule, how did you manage to write 4 Best sellers?
Like they say, ‘longest journey starts with a small step.’ It all started with writing my emotions and learnings from daily life. Those small articles once a week, eventually gave birth to a book full of short stories. I think it was in 2007 when I started penning down my thoughts which eventually led to my first book, Knock Knock, Are you listening” which got published in 2011. By then Your Turn Now movement was picking up which led to release of real stories based on the kindness movement, and 2013 saw the launch of Your Turn Now book, followed by Your Turn Now 2 book in 2016 and Second Look in 2016 as well. Writing a bit every day, every week makes it easier.
7. Today competition has killed innocence of children; therefore, the children are prone to more evil emotions such as sadness, anger and jealousy at a young age. How can we as parents stop it?
It’s ok to have emotions. Important is how to handle the emotions. I often hear parents say how can you cry ? Are you a girl? This surprises me. Who said boys can’t cry? Emotions have to be dealt with and it’s ok to not be ok.
Talking about competition, well it’s a harsh fact and one can’t run from it. It is a competitive world and students these days I feel have become robots.
Parents first need to let the child compete with oneself. I feel it’s the parents who put it in their mind from tender age of even 2, how they need to be better than others, be it the first walk, first word spoken.
They need to stop putting their ambitions in their child and making them feel pressurized. Parents need to let them grow, let them fall and get up.
Another interconnected aspect again is empathy tolerance and kindness; parents need to ask their child were you kind today instead of asking how many marks they got.
It’s a lot about the values we instill in our child
How often do we teach our children to respect and treat the less fortunate or even domestic help equally?
Lastly we need to teach our children social skills, how to take turns, how to respect and appreciate, and most importantly how to accept failure as well.
8. How can good parenting raise good citizens?
I think there should be eligibility criteria for being a parent. Being just an adult doesn’t work. Adults are creators as well as destroyers of the next generation. As a parent, you need to know what’s important for your child. Money is important but leaving just big fortune behind with no values will only create havoc in this world. Every value needs to be instilled, respect for other’s opinion, religion, sex, being empathic, generous, honest etc. An involved parent, who understands who builds up a positive environment, which is based on sharing, collaboration than competition makes a great nation. Humans are social animals, one has to work as a team to evolve, thus to make this world a better place.
9. How important is the role of a father in a child’s life? (Considering the fact that our society emphasis more as a mother’s responsibility to raise the child than that of the father)
Fathers are equally important as mothers. Both genders have their own strengths and weaknesses, thus a child needs to learn and imbibe both, the ying and yang energy of a parent. An affective and supportive father affects overall social development of the child, instilling self respect and self confidence. Research shows that the involvement of a father is equally important for the health and overall wellbeing of a child. Yes I agree, in our society mothers plays the most difficult task in the day to day mundane activities of the child, but for the benefit of the child and mother, equal participation by a father is crucial and essential .
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