“Papa, you seem to be thinking something, what are you thinking?” asked a pre-nursery son to his father. Amused at the question posed by a toddler the father who was actually baffled by a problem smiled at his son and said, “Yes my dear, there is a question which I am not able to solve.” “What is the question?”, snap came the reply from the son. The father who got his mind off the problem, took his son in his lap and laughed.

The child immediately took his father’s pen and book and said, “Tell me, what alphabet can’t you write?” This how you write A and this is how you write B, said the son while writing the alphabets on the piece of paper.

What’s the lesson you ask, is this Manan Being Manan with some lame joke or story, actually no. This son’s father is my professor, he told us this anecdote this morning when one of my classmates said, “Sir, skip these questions we know we can solve them.”

After telling us this story, I had an idea as to where the professor was headed, he then concluded his story by saying –

“Our range is limited to what we know, never assume that by knowing what you know, you know everything.” He further said, “The world is not limited to what our eyes can see. The range of my son’s knowledge is the alphabets he is learning and he feels that’s all that is there to learn & study.”

What makes this story special to me is that the saying, “The child is the father of man.” comes true. The sweet innocence of the child has such a big message for us. The child said and asked the above out of innocence while we adults with every year passing by, ask and make similar statements out of sheer egos, in a desperate attempt to show the other person lower and project ourselves as better than the rest. We think and say that what we are doing is right ignoring rational statements made by others, we often ignore facts and make reckless decisions resulting in our personal loss, causing pain and disrespect to others, under-estimating people, all ’cause our ego is on stake.

While on my way back home I was pondering over this little humbling lesson that I learnt, I remembered another saying that my father used to say when I was in high school and now he says the same to my younger brother when he makes some similar statements like my classmate. The proverb is in Punjabi, but I will translate it in English: “The frog living in the well thinks that the well is the ocean.”

Food for thought. err …. not the frog unless you live in Malaysia or somewhere. Ewww frogs!