“Daddy!! Look at him!! Doesn’t he look adorable?”
Susie dragged me out of the house to show me her latest creation…
I had recently bought this little farmhouse on the outskirts of the city and we were spending the weekend here, trying to clean up the place. Susie was our five year old daughter and having lived all these days amidst the noise and pollution of the big city, to her this place was nothing less than a house out of her fairy-tale books. She was really excited and insisted on helping with the clean up. Not wanting to disappoint her, I had asked her to make a list of the plants she would like to have on our little plantation and also think of how she would tend to those plants. Satisfied that this would keep her busy for a while, my wife and I went inside to get the kitchen in shape. We had been inside for almost two hours now when all of a sudden, her loud and excited voice shattered the silence of the house!
Sanaya and I came out to the farmland following an eager Susie. And what do we see!?
This is what our little girl had made! A new version of the traditional scarecrow!
“This will keep the birds away from my plants, daddy…”, explained Susie.
We were amused by her innocence and creativity. Just then Sanaya asked,
“Susie dear, but why does this scarecrow have a smile on his face? If he looks so friendly, how will the crows and other birds get scared and fly away?”
“Mommy, who said Mr.Scarecrow was going to scare the birds away?”
“But isn’t that the purpose of the scarecrow?”
“No mommy, my scarecrow will not do that. Why should scaring the birds away be the only way to keep the plants safe? My scarecrow is a friendly young man. His smile will attract the birds towards him and they will all become his friends. Then there will be no need to scare the birds away! They will all become Mr. Scarecrow’s friends and then will not do anything to disappoint him and in turn our plants will also remain safe!”
Susie’s reply stunned us. This simple and innocent act of hers had taught us one of life’s most important lessons. The statement she had innocently and unknowingly said had made such a huge impact.
Why should scaring the birds away be the only way to keep the plants safe?
Very true…why should causing fear in others’ hearts be the only way to achieve what we want? What Susie did may not serve the purpose of the scarecrow being put up, but the message her simple act had given out was immense. By making friends with the crows and other birds, in other words, by making them feel happy and comfortable instead of feeling afraid, the end goal could still be achieved. Hatred, fear and violence is unnecessary. Instead, it should be replaced by love and care. This simple change in our approach towards solving problems will make things go so much more smoothly.
When a little girl like Susie could understand this, why can’t we understand and implement this? Why can’t we change our age old perspective (just the way Susie changed the traditional scarecrow) and realize that it is not causing fear in the minds and hearts of people that is going to help us, it is bringing them close to us by the means of love and friendship and then working towards achieving the goal together, that is going to help us.
Susie taught all of us something very important- You don’t become powerful just because people are afraid of you, it just makes them develop hatred towards you. You become truly powerful when you have the support of other people and that can be attained only if you don’t impose your ideas on them but give them a chance to present their ideas too.