But Daddy all my friends are allowed…

“But Daddy all my friends are allowed! Their parents allow them!?”

“Yes darling but I am not your friends’ parent…”

“Sometimes I wish you were…”

“You can’t decide what is right and wrong based on what your friends do!”

“Why not?”

“That’s not the only reference point, it’s certainly not the best.”

“Give me a better point of reference then. What’s yours?.”

“Ok… I’ll tell you… “

“Ok.”

“Can we sit down?”

“Ok.”

“We are the descendants of a great King who became a God through his choices and actions. His name was Ram. He is my point of reference.”

“What’s so special about him?”

“He never blindly followed what everyone around him was doing, saying or telling him to do. He always asked ‘what is the right thing to do’. Ram always asked — what would be best for our dynasty, our nation and our people?

Let me give you some examples:

On the night before his coronation, Ram’s father banished him to the forests for 14 years. Ram could have refused to go, many people advised him to, but he went.

Many Kings of his time lived by their own rules and thought that they were above the law. Ram believed the same laws must apply to the King as everyone else. In fact, he said the King had to be a role model.

When he had defeated his enemy Ravan, after a long and painful battle, no-one wanted to carry out Ravan’s funeral rites. Ram stepped up and volunteered to do it. Ram made it clear that whilst Ravan’s choices during his life were to be punished, in death he must be forgiven and be treated appropriately.

There are so many instances throughout the Ramayan, where you get to see Ram under pressure, making decisions that were very different to what you would do or what everyone else did. That never stopped Ram from doing the right thing, following his dharma.”

“Dad, Ram seems pretty incredible!”

“Now, as the descendants of that great Ram, what should we do? How can we just take the easy or lazy path? How can we think about our own interests above our duty? We can’t just follow what everyone else says…”

“Dad, Ram is a tough role model to follow though…”

“We should try and ask why we are doing something, what will the best action be, what will the long term impact be, etc. We won’t get everything right every time and we will make mistakes but at least we can try…”

“We can try…Happy Ram Navmi, Dad!”

“Happy Ram Navmi, my darling!”

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