Heightened Sense Of Perfection And Creativity
"My mother trusted my ability to think critically and question things. She always gave me a space to disagree."
By Team ParentCircle • 4 min read
Padma Shri Geeta Dharmarajan
Writer, teacher, social entrepreneur, founder of Katha (an NGO) and Katha Books
Over the last 28 years at Katha, and earlier at the University of Pennsylvania and at the India Today Group, I have realised I am what I am because of the rich childhood I had.
I learnt so much from watching and listening to my parents. My mother is the most creative person I know. She also had a heightened sense of perfection. I inherited these qualities from her. As a child, I lived in a world of imagination, books and stories. My mother trusted my ability to think critically and question things. She always gave me a space to disagree. She instilled self-confidence in me, fostered a sense of self-esteem and gave me the courage to stand up against what’s unfair.
My father taught me – through his own actions — to give generously and to be caring and sharing. His sense of hard work and his emphasis on in-depth research have been my lodestar.
A fabulous imagination, a yearning for being original and innovative, and not giving up when the going gets tough – I learnt these qualities from my parents. They have stood me in good stead in my work over many years, especially at Katha.
I grew up practising Hinduism, but I had the freedom to pray to any god, believing that all gods resided in me. Hence, from the early days of my life, I had a strong sense of active tolerance.
Frugality and not being wasteful were two other things I learnt from my parents.
My father never had to raise his voice. A lift of an eyebrow was enough to instil the sense of right and wrong in us. My parents lived with truthfulness and transparency, trusting fellow human beings and doing good to all.
I hope I have always carried with me these qualities into every responsibility I have held. I also hope I have passed them on to my children.
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