Friday, December 25, 2009

Three Stories to make One point

In this post I want to emphasize that values can be rooted in children, not by giving them sermons on morality, but by setting good examples of conduct.

Butch O'Hare was one of the World War II hero . He was a fighter pilot deputized on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific. One day while returning to the mother ship from flying sortie he saw a squadron of Japanese Zeroes speeding their way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a mission and the fleet was all defenseless. He had to somehow divert Japanese fighters from reaching the defenseless American ship. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and entered into air fight, firing at as many planes as possible until finally all his ammunition was spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the Zeroes, trying to at least clip off a wing or tail, in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. He was desperate to do anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron moved off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. The film from the camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the America’s highest military honors. And today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this brave man.

Now, let me share  another story with you.

There was a man in Chicago called Easy Eddie. At that time, Al Capone a mafia virtually owned the city. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. Easy Eddie was Capone's lawyer. He was very good in his profession of legal maneuvering and that kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. Capone paid Eddie very well and gave him a huge fenced mansion with all of the conveniences of the day. Eddie lived the high life and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddy did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddy saw to it that his young son had the best of everything; clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld, as price was no object. Despite his indirect involvement with organized crime, Eddie tried to teach his son right from wrong and to rise above his own sordid life. He wanted him to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things that Eddie couldn't give his son. Two things that Eddie sacrificed to the Capone mafia mob that he could not pass on to his beloved son , one a good name and second  a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Offering his son a good name was far more important than all the riches he could lavish on him. He decided to rectify all the wrong that he had done by testifying against the mafia. He knew that the cost would be great but he desperately wanted to clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. He wanted to be an example to his son to give him a good name. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street. He had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer at the greatest price he would ever pay.

Now you must be thinking, what do these two stories have to do with one another?

Well, you see, Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.

I was reading an article written on Sunita Williams and I was deeply impressed by the way her father Dr. Deepak Pandya transferred the true Indian values in his children. Children learn by examples .The deeds and conduct of parents and teachers leave an everlasting impression on a child’s mind.
Our present day culture is one of overabundance. It is a challenging task to teach children to be content and composed when parents themselves are running a race of “instant gratification" and yearning for more, more and more. The root problem is many parents in compensation for their time, believe in giving more materialistic things and many teachers believe that they have done enough if they have put in lot of information. Let us accept that, by suffering comes wisdom, let these young minds be brought to the helm of questions and let them experience and find the answers for themselves. Give them time and informed guidance rather than making everything so simple for them. Another story to express the point .
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I can’t think of more appropriate words than those of Ralph Tyler Flewelling who said “Some values are... like sugar on the doughnut, legitimate, desirable, but insufficient, apart from the doughnut itself. We need substance as well as frosting."


  1. Great read as it is always on your blog. :)

    By the way, nice display pic. :)

  2. Alongwith all this, what students need is good company. Howsoever good the exmples may be if a kid has got a bunch of friends who think of their parents and teachers assome kind of loosers then they will not be able to gain anything from then.
    All the thoughts which came to his mind when his father told the truth must have stormedhis mind when he took attacked the fleet.

  3. Very inspirational stories! Many people and internet debates have doubted the father Eddie's motives though.

    I have seen the film 'The Untouchables' (1987) on Al Capone (Robert DeNero).

    P.S.: The 'subscribe to comments by email' is missing. Perhaps you changed some settings.

  4. Ohkk, the link showed later! Ignore the PS above.

  5. Impressed by the stories of Butch O'Hare and Easy Eddie. Apart from adding to GK, it's really moving! For the thought put forth in the rest of the post: AGREED :) And thanks, Vikas, for giving the movie's name... Would like to watch it sometime soon :)

  6. @Shilpa -Good to see you on the blog after a long time, Thanks for all the encouragement [:)]

    @Vishal - “All the children start by loving their parents .... when they grow old they judge them….sometimes they forgive them” .If children can’t look up to their parents and teachers then their schooling and parenting, has failed somewhere .Parents and teachers have to find the reasons for this failure.

    @Vikas- I will read more about Easy Eddie, here, I just wanted to present the positive side of him. As an immense fan of Robert de Nero I love most of his performances. Try “Cape Fear” if you have not already seen it.

    @Darshan- Thanks pal, for support and review. Here are few links to get “Untouchables” mentioned by Vikas.

    This is link to 1 part of film, you can download all the 12 from you tube in less than half an hour.
    The complete movie can be downloaded from btjunkie, download torrent is

  7. I will watch the film. I just read some reviews and it sounds interesting. Director is Martin Scorsese!

  8. Thanks for the links. I would prefer full movie to parts on/from YouTube :)

  9. Inspiring stories... all. My GK just traveled northward :)

    Children who grow up in a tough environment or with negative examples before them... like domestic violence, etc... tend to ape those behaviours/trends. There are exceptions too... but then exceptions prove the rule. And vice versa.

    It may not be relevant here... but I am very intrigued by the workings of the soul.

    No two individuals are alike... even if they were twins. Even Dolly the 'cloned sheep' was very unlike in behaviour than its mother. They looked alike though, infact they were splitting images of each other.. yet their behaviour was vastly different.

  10. @Roshmi " I am very intrigued by the workings of the soul.....No two individuals are alike".
    That is very right.Let me put my understanding of it.

    The upbringing part links to the parent domain of our personality .The child and adult domain relate to our perceptions and subsequently our experiences that either justify or contradict those advices .Attitudes perceptions and reactions are thus the deciding factor in what a person is , or is likely to be.

    "Games people play" by Dr. eric Berne and "I am ok you are ok" by Dr.Thomas A Harris are excellent reads, if you wish to explore more about the formation of personalities and behavioral analysis.

    One benefit of reading books on transactional analysis and psychology is we begin to understand the reasons behind behaviors and misdemeanors.It is then so easy to forgive and forget ..... when that happens at least humans lose their capacity to hurt us.

  11. very well written.
    there are so many parents who fail to understand the basic need of children. they think that providing luxury will not create any complaints from their kids but they they fail to understand that kids need good interaction with their parents. Parents are the first friends of any child.

    it is a very sensible post. your children are lucky to have father like you.
    keep writing:)

  12. Thanks for your suggestions, Sunilji. I haven't read those books yet... but will try to.

    Sometime back I did read a few articles on this subject... which greatly intrigued me. Will write about it shortly. And then we could discuss...

  13. @manank-Thanks for the encouragement dear.
    All the children start by loving their parents .... when they grow old they judge them….sometimes they forgive them....hope my children will be able to forgive me.....(:-

  14. @Roshmi- Looking forward to that ....... Even i am working on a post on transactional analysis that focuses primarily on leadership......

  15. good examples do teach better than good words ...

    i agree


Your viewpoint will definitely give it wider perspective


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