Code of Conduct

Sarabjeet D Natesan

Author: Sarabjeet D Natesan

Date: Wed, 2016-12-21 11:59

I learned very early in my life that everything has a code.  And it had to be followed.  My extremely loving and generous parents were hard taskmasters.   Our life was full of music and books and movies and picnics and holidays yet we were expected to know our boundaries.  We were never told what we should or should not do; nevertheless, we were expected to know it.  It made things tough, we did not know if and when we had overstepped.

My parents worked, and I was a latch-key child. I would find my way home before the rest and take the key, open the door, quickly run inside leaving the door ajar, fight all the imaginary demons I could on my way to the kitchen, pick up my lunch and rush back out through the open front door, lock the house and wait outside for the rest of the family to arrive. And of course slowly eat my lunch.  I was not able to sit inside the house all by myself!  During the course of my sixth standard, my father, working on a project in Bihar, contracted jaundice. He had to take leave from work and compulsorily rest.  This made me immensely happy as he was home when I got back from school. The couple of hours we spent together meant a lot, we spoke about a lot of things, I learned a lot from him; literature, theology, simple stories, imaginary characters, God, religion, faith and life.  With advanced degrees in English Literature and Sikh Religion, he was a true liberal in his thoughts and outlook.  He made me understand the importance of staying grounded, forgetting and forgiving and never taking anything for granted. 

One winter afternoon, I was dispatched to the market to buy sugarcane juice as it helped the liver to function better.  I took the thermos and cycled to the market.  In my huge levels of excitement, I forgot to close the cap properly and spilled it just as I reached home.  Promptly I was asked to return to the market to get another thermos of juice and was not even allowed to sit and catch a breath.  Another time I was given a letter to mail in the morning.  It was a letter our house help Bahadur, had written to his parents.  Bahadur had accompanied my father from Bihar to help take care of him and was generally sad and very homesick.  I figured that it was just Bahadur’s letter and it would be ok to mail it later.  By afternoon when my father discovered that I had not yet mailed it, he was very upset.  I still remember the soft voice with which he asked me to get the letter to post office soon.  I was also upset and did not understand the hurry and asked him why was the code of our upbringing so tough, why did we have to follow such strict guidelines, why can’t things wait a bit?  And his reply was simple, because they should not.

Having seen the angst of post-partition India, the hunger, the distrust, the indifference, this nonchalance was not acceptable to him.  He never broke a promise to any one, never let anyone down and constantly thought about issues from the other person’s perspective.  He told me to think of Bahadur’s parents, how happy they would be to receive his letter. And he taught me the positive power of kindness. It was his ability to think sensitively about others, their reactions, their feelings which managed his conduct.  His generosity was irritating yet infectious.  One day he gave the sofas of our house to the office manager as somebody was going to come to see his daughter.  My mother came home to an empty living room and was livid.  But after hearing the story, she called the manager and gave him the cushions too!

When my father lost his battle to the dreadful cancer, the Gurudwara where his last prayers were held was full with not an eye dry.  People whom we knew and people we did not know were there.  Many told us of his politeness and others of his generosity and others of his kindness. 

I draw my inspiration, my grounding, observation and empathy from my father.  I also get my stubborn streak, my code of conduct of respect and measured response from him.  To not disrespect, torment or disregard anyone.  And also to not take any disrespect from any one.  And to never let fear overcome me. And not to shy away from issues.  I try to live by that code. 

I have never left a bottle uncapped and never forgotten to mail a letter.



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I really find these blogs very subtle, deep, divine and universal. It's so awesome!! Keep writing such heart-warming stuff!

Thank you, Mr. Singh, for your very kind words.

This is really a touchy and inspirational experience shared by you Ma'am. Existence of Code of conduct is must in personal life and professional life to keep a person within acceptable boundaries. As I have grown up, I have seen my father as a very strong person from outside and a very soft person from inside. Being in Joint Family he has never discriminated with his children and other as far as discipline concerned. I have seen that in a joint & big family Karta member has to play a strict referee role to keep all the people together. However when I was child I always used to think why to do this only and why not that. He was so strict about study and use of money. He was behind us for cultivating the habit to respect elders, sacrificing for family members and lot more values with strict code of conduct. I used to feel why so much? Now I understand that that life was much better than being alone and enjoying so called freedom (Loneliness). I am a father now and I understand how he was unsecured for his kids as I am though lot of strictness then and now. I was having the habit of procrastination and he was like why a person should wait because of use. He is businessman and at the age of 55 he still serve the customer alone in mid night on need basis. Many things I have learnt from him but worth to mention two habits 1) Punctuality; & 2) Respect others. I understand now that Code is set to make the life strong so that you are enough capable before you expose yourself to world. If from childhood a person is not accustomed to such limitations he/she may not be able sustain in life. As you said, you were so happy when your father was not well and he had to rest at home. I am facing the same situation when my kids says Papa please stay home today, take a leave, how much work, SP Jain assignments etc. and if no leave, they pray Hey God please fall my papa sick for today and I laugh loudly. In professional life also Big Corporates have its code of conduct to protect the interest of Corporate as a whole and strict action is taken in case of non adherence. It is really worth to have some code of conducts in personal life as this teaches us lessons.

Very Correct Madam. I would rather call this as Code of Life. What actually code of conduct is ? Set of some rules .. But if we go deep into those set of rules and responsibilities, they actually shape our lives. This post takes me back to my childhood days and brings the memories of time spent with my grand pa. Being from the army background he was no less than a strict disciplinarian. Even his feet followed the code of conduct while walking leisurely with me in a garden. Left Right Left. This was how discipline had gone deep into his blood. Even though I was the most pampered child, he made sure that rules were followed. As children we sometimes have misinterpreted the discipline with dictatorship and felt that these rules have ruined our freedom. But today when I look back, I feel proud of myself that these rules have played a very important role in making me today what I am. I have seen children who would switch on the TV, first thing in the morning, after they get up and then their morning routine begins. We pamper our children, try to satisfy their every need, give them the best possible things we can but by doing all this we forget to teach them discipline. We take pride in boasting that my child knows how to operate android phones, my child wins levels and levels in video games but in all these prideful sessions, we forget that my child is also losing his or her eye sight to these technologies. Does a child whose age is merely 6 to 7 years need an android? Discipline is worth giving a thought.

Ma'am, Compliments to you for converting such a difficult subject into a nice emotional story. Even today, when we find it hard to know the importance of code of conduct and struggle to imbibe the same, you have made it easy to understand through an emotional story which everyone can correlate with. I feel life gives us experiences to learn but sometimes it is too late to learn from your own experience and you need to learn from other’s experiences which should be crystal clear and influential like yours.

Compliments to you Madam, for writing your emotional journey in such a simple words through this blog!!! As you are rightly mentioned, sometimes as a child we always hate the discipline imposed on us by our parents, but when we grow up, we know the importance of it. Our parents are always guiding us for important things in life, but as youngsters we always tend to hate their advice. We always think that we are grown up & know what is correct for us. Today’s generation always thinks they are “smart” enough to handle their lives. But when these youngsters become parents then they tend to realize the parents emotions for their children & importance of parents advice & discipline. Parents may at times take the tough decisions or impose hard discipline on their child, with intention to make their child ready to face the harsh world. Through their actions parents always tries to teach their children “Code of Successful life”

M’aam… Hats off to you for sharing such touchy emotional story in the blog. I have been overwhelmed by reading this story, in which you have explained the underneath of life i.e. code and conduct in a simplistic manner. The learning from the real life situation is an asset and never ever forgotten able. The subject code of conduct is a subjective concept and tough in conception. Major people misunderstand the subject to the required extend. But your silent explanation has given clear understanding about the requirement of code of conduct for a life. In real life, people try to adapt the mandatory things and they are being relaxed if the same optional. But the basic intrinsic codes like respect to others, self-respect, punctuality- can’t be driven from outside. It is highly mandatory to ride up in the corporate ladder. The presence of these qualities makes difference from various perspectives. While I am working in corporate I still believe these code of conduct is a mandatory to protect the interest of corporate and to initiate strict action in case of non-compliance.

Dear Ma’am, This is a beautiful and touching story. It talks about the values passed on by our parents and other elderly people in our family. I grew up in a nuclear family where my mother was a housewife and my father owned a travel company. There were always so many questions I had when I was growing up which seemed overly complicated only till I asked my parents for answers. They somehow had logical answers to everything. The biggest lesson they have ever taught me is to be gratuitous and humble and to treat each and every person with respect. This was always an implied lesson rather than a verbal authoritative one. I would always notice that my mom made tea and snacks for our maid and my dad helped our driver to wash the car amongst other things. These small things they do are their codes and they have passed it on to me as well. I believe each person has a set of codes in their life which they stand by no matter what. If these codes do not harm another person in any way then it is a code worth standing by.

It’s a commendable effort to narrate such a difficult topic in an inspirational way. Adding to your thoughts on Code of Conduct which very important and valid for today’s society where parents are busy with their money-minting exercise and often forget to make their children practice such important aspects in life, yet expecting them to follow. It’s very important that you plant the seed of such goodness in the minds of the children at a very young age, so that they grow up practicing it. From this example a key take away is that parents can make their children practice some of the good habits in a well mannered and acceptable way, which eventually percolates to the generation to come. Many practices in today’s parenting are either superimposed in a cruel way or let-off fearing that children may get offended, eventually both are unacceptable. “What you Sow so shall you reap”. This holds true to today’s world. Without nurturing the child with good habits parent expect their children to behave well. Many studies conducted on parenting tell us only one important thing, children learn from their parents more than the society. Hence it becomes the need of the hour to spend time with children for effective parenting. It’s not only moral or ethical to practice good habits, but it’s the need of the hour even in the corporate world. Many employees fail to shine mainly because of either their lethargic behavior or their unacceptable superimposing behavior towards the work and employees. Finally I would like to say that in case everybody in the society is nurtured up with such good code of conduct, a harmonious society is created which makes our planet a sustainable living place not only for human beings but also for all those who belong here.

Dear Ma’am, complements of the day to you. Thank you for explaining such a subjective topic in very simplistic manner. It has brought the memories of my earlier days. I am the only boy born to my parents after three sisters. Thus I am pampered a lot but never allowed to misconduct. I was born in an affluent business family, but due to a failure my father had to take up a service. We had a very humble upbringing. My father has more that 50 men reporting to him. He knew all of them, their background on personal front. He would participate with them in any good and especially bad occasion in their family. Even in financially tight situations, he never holds himself back in helping anyone he knew. Apart from this he also thought us to be punctual and to respect the value of others’ time. My Mother was a home-maker and a religious lady. She thought us the strength of prayer. She always welcomed and treated guests appropriately well. Reflecting back, these are the codes that they lived by and pass on to us. We were never forced to adopt this characteristics, but the way they always conducted themselves it was simple progression for us. I feel that each person has his/her set of codes of conduct, without which an individual will have very vague identity. So I would say my code of conducts – humbleness, punctuality, respect of each individual, valuing relationships, belief in prayers – is akin to my identity.

After reading title of this blog, white A6 size booklet issued by my company came in front of my eyes. I recently read this white book after nearly completion of 10 years in service. I have taken out this book to find out some norms to apply on errant subordinate. I had never thought that code of conduct is in life also. Author of blog is written very subtly code of conduct as code of her life. Why do we need a code of conduct in first place? In a social aspect, every act has some expectations by somebody. Teacher is not expected to smoke while teaching. Prime minister is not expected to be in his beach dress while delivering address in United Nations assembly. Code of conduct brings some parity in behavior of each individual residing in community. Interestingly most of the code of life is nowhere written as that of any company’s code of conduct. This code of conduct drives young boy to offer his seat to lady in a bus. Also that lady is bound to provide seat if any handicapped person comes in a bus. In a way code of conduct is required in day to day life. Is this code really such helpful? Code of conduct can be said as a bad or good. Code followed by terrorists is bad in eyes of larger society whereas for that smaller group it’s very much appreciated code. This code of conduct binds so many persons of different nature. In a way code of conduct is always helpful in context of that particular group, society. Imbibing right code of conduct in life of upcoming generation has become utmost important. Government has started value systems education at school level. Everyone knows the importance of this code but following on this code is much important. TV advertisement shows that daughter reminds father that mom is not home so that they can order pizza and dad miles. Here there is sheer conflict in code of conduct of mother & that of father’s. What lesson that daughter got? As author draws her grounding & inspiration from her father which is her driving force now, what about that daughter in pizza advertisement? As individual we have great duty to follow good code of conduct and pass it on same for future generations. Code of conduct can be named in many ways – moral duty, obligations, discipline, rules- but above all it is code of life.

I am amazed to see the author so effortlessly pour her heart out and narrate these invaluable moments of her life. I like the way the author has identified and embraced her life experiences, and also the way she associates all this to her personality. Sometimes, it takes a lifetime for one to look back, comprehend and know who he is and what he is made of. This article gave me an opportunity to do just that. My parents worked too. Sundays were our time together and often we spent the Sundays travelling to our ancestral home. We had one of the fastest cars of that time. On the way, when I wanted my father to overspeed and overtake all the other vehicles on the road, he would just say he is carrying many lives in his hands, not only of his family’s but also of the people who worked for him, and cannot afford to do anything that would put all this at risk. Even behind the best of the wheels, he could maintain his composure. That is one of the many code of conducts I try to live by and that has kept me grounded, humble and responsible, no matter how good or bad the situation is. We all have lived by the code of conduct laid by our parents or circumstances (both known and unkown) we faced while growing up. I realized now, through this article, that what I thought to be a way of life, without questioning even once, was actually a chain of codes. The way we conduct, we treat others, we lead our lives, and everything can be traced back to our upbringing and the numerous codes we followed while at it. The sooner we learn it, the more you we will get to know ourselves. It is in our hands whether to stick to the roots and unleash the best in us or march full speed until we are stopped by the speed breakers.

The story of Bahadur’s mail letter is really understand how code of conduct is important to follow. The Learning from her father regarding inherent ability to take care of people. Her Father’s ability to think sensitively about others reaction, feelings make binding code of conduct. When we think from others prospective we will not broke the promise to given them never let down to others. Code of conduct not always be rule and punishment if not followed. If we understand the importance of following code we will never be broke the code. As per her prospective mailing letter later is ok and why father asking to mail soon. When her father told her to think from Bahadur’s parent, how much they will happy after receiving his letter. This taught her positive power of kindness. Another example caring of people is giving Sofa set to the office manager by her father and after hearing story her mother’s reaction of giving cushion also. When we give respect to the people, taking care of them and see from their shoes will taught us follow code of conduct not by force of others. The learning from such story people will never forget whole life because it becomes habit to obey the code. Like your case, you never forgot to cap the bottle and never forgot to mail the letter after that. In our corporate world also we have code of conduct which are strictly followed. Cummins has value for code of conduct. Code of conduct is built on 10 ethical principles which provide foundation for behavior change of people. Such code of conduct is must in our personal life. Caring of people and understanding them from there prospective is important. It automatically gives sense of humility and empathy and its follows the code of conduct. I have example of my father when he was his last day of life after long illness of 4 years was asked me to attend my Engineering exam paper. He care me in last day of his life also.

I very strongly believe in the importance of maintaining a code of conduct in life. Somehow you naturally adapt from your environment of upbringing which formulates and strengthens while you grow. As Ms. Sarabhjeet shared about her childhood. Ma’am respect! what similarly, I used to wonder why my parents were so particular about maintaining a code of conduct in the house as well as when we were out. They have always taught us that nothing is bigger than respect and dignity of self and others. They really stressed on the importance of self-discipline of oneself. I sometimes used to wonder and fight why are they so generous towards people, why they go out of the way to help someone they barely know. Why my cousins are pampered and given more importance. Why I had always been told that you are an elder, behave like one, Take responsibility! And they simply replied with a smile” that you will get your worth, just do not forget the code of conduct”. With making me positive and making me realize that I am a grown up even when I was 12, I was always left to take the responsibilities and be some one that your younger ones can look up to. A simple teaching of What goes around comes back was taught in such multiple ways”. It all depends on what rules you make. I believe it is really important to follow some rules in life as code of conduct. How we are in private we might not be in society however the conduct should be intact. Our code of conduct really depicts our character and the quality of life we live. It is easy to be rich with money but it calls for an effort to be rich in character. Which is simply respecting every individuality. It is rightly said quantity you can count, quality is counted upon. It requires a lot of patience and perseverance to stick to it. And I feel really grateful to have experienced that calmness in my parents of giving wisdom, knowledge and the right code of conduct.

Sharing such personal, touching, emotional details of one’s life does not come easy to everyone. It takes great amount of courage to put yourself out there in the open. I’d like to take this opportunity to commend your ability Ma’am to do the same. Your blogs are a breath of fresh air and make for an interesting read. It is indeed true that the values and codes our parents imbibe in us from the very beginning shape us into the kind of person we become. My father had a tough childhood. My brother and I remember him telling us his story about he’s made it so far. My father has always been a self reliant man. He used to work at a small juice shop to support himself through school and college. He did many odd jobs and literally started from the bottom. And today he is a well established real estate consultant in Delhi. The amount of respect and adulation he’s earned in the market is unmatched. We live in one of the best localities in South Delhi and have comfortable lives. But our parents have always made sure that my brother and I never forget where we come from. No matter what heights we reach, we must learn ti remain humble. Generosity, humility, kindness are some of the codes my parents live by. And they ensure that my brother and I follow those codes too. In our home, our servants are treated as members of our family, my mother leaves no opportunity to host guests and feed them, my father will go out of his way to help financially or otherwise whoever knocks at our doorstep. But there have been instances when I’ve witnessed being generous and helpful has backfired. I remember just a few months back when my grandfather’s care taker ( co incidentally named Bahadur)asked my father for some money to build his home and help his daughter. My father handed him fifty thousand rupees in a second only to see him vanish to never show his face to us again. This made me question my parent’s choices and the code they live by. I was furious with them because it was not the first time something like this had happened. But for my father, incidents like these don’t shake his faith in humanity. He continues to be good and do good. We’ve seen our share of adversities too. But not once have we seen our parents break down. Always be strong and have faith in Waheguru is another code that we’ve been taught to live by and we do.

I felt there was a Jhumpa Lahiri vibe in this blog and it reminded me of this line I once read somewhere – “a man is part DNA, part unknown and part what he sees and goes through as a child." We are a product of our environment, and it is this environment that teaches us the unwritten codes of life. I think most of us pick up on this code of conduct that you mentioned from our dear ones. And they have probably become imbibed in us that we do not realise the reasons behind why we do certain things the way we do them. I found it surprising that you could be specific about that exact point where you learned certain ‘codes’. I believe, in most cases, they’re generally learned by observation and by mere exposure to them. One of the instructions that most of our parents gave us when we were kids may have been that we should choose our friends wisely. There were implicit and explicit conditions that were to be followed when choosing them. But once we grew older, this process of choosing friends came naturally, and even though we don’t realise it, it is possible that we follow our parent’s conditions in a more condensed manner. We filter out what we cannot accept, but the framework would still be rooted in those conditions. My father taught me to how to knot a tie, and though I know a few other knots now, my go-to tie knot remains the one that he taught me. For me, it somehow seems to be best knot out there. It’s the one that comes to me naturally. This code of conduct is the reasoI felt there was a Jhumpa Lahiri vibe in this blog and it reminded me of this line I once read somewhere – “a man is part DNA, part unknown and part what he sees and goes through as a child." We are a product of our environment, and it is this environment that teaches us the unwritten codes of life. I think most of us pick up on this code of conduct that you mentioned from our dear ones. And they have probably become imbibed in us that we do not realise the reasons behind why we do certain things the way we do them. I found it surprising that you could be specific about that exact point where you learned certain ‘codes’. I believe, in most cases, they’re generally learned by observation and by mere exposure to them. One of the instructions that most of our parents gave us when we were kids may have been that we should choose our friends wisely. There were implicit and explicit conditions that were to be followed when choosing them. But once we grew older, this process of choosing friends came naturally, and even though we don’t realise it, it is possible that we follow our parent’s conditions in a more condensed manner. We filter out what we cannot accept, but the framework would still be rooted in those conditions. My father taught me to how to knot a tie, and though I know a few other knots now, my go-to tie knot remains the one that he taught me. For me, it somehow seems to be best knot out there. It’s the one that comes to me naturally. This code of conduct is the reason for the things we do and how we do them. We may not be able to explain it to others because they have their own ways of doing those exact things. It is also likely that we are bound to influence others and pass on these codes without being aware of it. And they are bound to pick them up without it involuntarily. n for the things we do and how we do them. We may not be able to explain it to others because they have their own ways of doing those exact things. It is also likely that we are bound to influence others and pass on these codes without being aware of it. And they are bound to pick them up without it involuntarily.

Ma’am, honestly when I read the title of the blog for the first time I thought it would be more of do’s and don’ts in life but gradually when I get into the content, I told to myself how vividly and beautifully it is brought out on this platform. The very first paragraph of your writing brought me to my childhood days. Right from my school to my post-graduation, I have been given enough freedom by my parents and it is due to this liberty I have always known my limits. In my school, I have seen my very good friends telling lies to their parents in order to attend the birthday parties of boys and due to restrictions imposed on them, they tend to do more mischief that could be easily avoided if things are straight forward and where both parents and children tend to be more understanding than being strict. Even today, if I know that I will be late back to hostel and tell them to my parents, my mother panics a bit but my father takes care of the situation. The trust that they showed upon me is large enough to not indulge in anything wrong and I speak to myself “this much I can do for them easily”. Right from the beginning, I have learnt the first code of conduct of my life to respect the freedom that my parents have given me and knowing my limits. I have heard so many instances where my friends used to say that they being girls would not be permitted to go out alone or are meant for household chores etc. but I am really thankful and grateful to my parents because I never faced any situation where I felt that my brother is preferred more than me. Things have been equal for us since beginning. I strongly believe in my value system which started taking shape from my school days but get reinforced when I moved out of my hometown(Bhilwara)for higher studies. Simplicity, grounded and minimum show-off are the primary principles which make me what I am today. I make sure that I do not give them up under any kind of peer pressure or persuasion because there have been instances in past where I have seen people changing and taking the wrong path because for them it is the definition of being “cool” in front of others . I am not saying what they do is wrong or what I do is right but the fact that hiding it and breaking the trust of parents is something that should not be compromised. They may appear to be cool but could be hollow from inside. Some of my friends are scared of my mother because they believe that she understands things even if you try to cover them up but honestly, some fear is must in order to regulate. Away from home, I really miss those scoldings which made me sad temporarily but now make me smile to see that there is always someone around who cares more than you care for yourself. In this contemporary world, staying true to your roots will play an important role to add an altogether new dimension in life.

Thanks ma’am for the wonderful article. It aptly puts across your point of view through an emotional and engaging story. It is enriching to see how you conduct yourself and the inspiration behind it. Everyone could connect to the plot because each one of us has faced difficulty in their childhood to figure out expectations from them and restrictions to be adhered to. I believe not only children but adults also face a hard time to understand the restrictions imposed on them by the society. Following the same set of rules doesn’t gel well along with all individuals, naturally. Similar to your case, it depends more on the individual’s background and her/him, how she/he looks at the situation and ultimately form his own code of conduct accordingly. Expecting a uniform code of conduct across the society is neither possible nor should be thrust upon individuals. Some might be indifferent to a certain state of affairs while others might voice their opinion vehemently. Some might be empathetic enough to figure out the reasoning behind the so-called ‘code of conduct’ while others would treat them as ‘shackles of society’. The much-debated topic of social intolerance in our country provides us a good example of such dilemma. It shows how on one hand; some people are sensitive to the feelings of other segments of the society and try to refrain from making contentious remarks on others while on the other hand, some people treat restrictions on voicing their opinions as manacles on their freedom of speech. Code of conduct in such cases might differ from one person to another. I think keeping a stubborn code of conduct might inhibit us to speak our heart out. It hinders people to form their own independent opinion by hearing out other schools of thought. Thus, a uniform code of conduct makes people a passive contributor to the society which in turn holds back the society’s development. To entice contributions from the people, these restrictions on the code of conduct must be minimal. Owing to the highly diverse environment we reside in; every contentious opinion is bound to hurt feelings of a few or a large number of people but the opinion has every right to be listened to if it intends to do a greater good for the society. A level of friction among people is healthy, it lets all the segments grow together and move ahead. There is a thin line between constructive feedback and disrespect. Occasionally that the line may be crossed, inadvertently by some people but as a society, we need to understand that to reap rich dividends of a flexible code of conduct, one should be ready to endure its downside. I thus believe in moulding my conduct with situation and time and be critical of all the restrictions deceived as a code of conduct, keeping in mind the overall betterment of the society.

It is a beautiful write up, that expresses a difficult concept through much ease and relatability for the reader. My thoughts resonate with yours, as I experienced similar learnings in my childhood. I would like to share my own experiences with you. I was once asked by my grandfather to buy milk bottles from the market for INR 53. He gave me INR 55 for the same purpose. While waiting for the shopkeeper to fetch bottles from the cold storage, my eyes fell on an interestingly packaged chewing gum, which I ended up buying. When I reached home, I mentioned that I spent the extra INR 2. To this, I was scolded by my grandfather who then taught me a valuable lesson of life, i.e, the value of money. Another story was, my parents always spoke very politely with my domestic help. She was treated like a member of the family and granted leaves whenever she asked for. I observed a totally different conduct by my neighbours who were strict and deducted money from her salary beyond a decided number of leaves. Since, I had to complete the chores when the cleaning lady was on leave, I complained to my mother. She explained to me how everyone is a human and deserves to be treated with respect. It’s important to be kind and understanding in life, and not always be calculative. I also noticed how the helper always helped us when asked to perform a task beyond her duty at times and cared for us. I realised my mother’s kindness helped create a bond, deeper than that of an employer and an employee. Since then, I never forget to be kind in my interactions with others and have continuously worked towards being an empathetic individual. Your article made me reflect and introspect as an individual. Your words ring true in my ears, that everything in life has a code of conduct. This set of rules or principles are initially shaped by our social conditioning, upbringing and our family environment. They shape our personality and guide us in our interactions and work ethics. Later, they might be influenced by our interactions with the world as we grow up. But they are etched in memories and stay intact throughout our lives. Everyone has their own code of conduct, by which they live their lives. Inculcating the right codes like discipline, integrity, respect towards others, flexibility and so on, can help us rise on the ladder of success. Hence, it is essential that we reflect on our actions from time to time to make sure we are authentic to our codes in life. However, what if we develop the wrong code of conduct? I would like to believe that people are inherently good and our conscious would correct us if we do ill. Just a nudge and at times, dragging towards right direction can influence an individual to revise his decisions and reorient himself. It would take time, for the believes are set deeper, but is certainly will happen.

In a few paragraphs, Ms. Sarabjeet has illustrated the importance of actions in character building. Childhood is an important phase of life, it is the time the personality, character, and individuality moulds and often in reflection of the people they are surrounded with. Children are like an empty canvas, they are pure and white. It is the society that gives them the colour and brings out their textures. By society, I mean the parents, relatives, friends and every one that could influence a child. We often mistake that we can make a child learn by way of preaching to them, and we repeatedly to in hope that they do what we preach, but we fail to understand that the actions impact more than words. You say, ‘you have to be kind’ a hundred times, and ‘be kind’ to people around you, the latter has a more profound impact on the child that the former. Effortlessly, a child’s character builds as an amalgamation of all the characters surrounding the child. This is what makes the society’s role in moulding a person so crucial. The child is always observant of the surrounding; it takes cues from all the action that is going on around them. Does it mean that you have to give alms to beggars all the time to show you child kindness? No, the way you behave to a beggar is more important. In time, the child learns what trait is good and what is bad, and decides which path to take. Does it mean that they only learn in their early years? No, learning is a continuous process, only that the canvas is not empty and white anymore, we have to paint over the already coloured canvas. The unlearn-relearn process will require a lot of effort, but is possible.

Ma’am, thank you for sharing your real life learnings. Your thoughts align with the most of the people we meet in personal and professional life. I do agree to your take on the moments of the childhood which each of us would have faced during our growing days. During our preliminary years, the directions were imposed rather than discussed. We were always taught on What to do? How to do? And When to do? Which made us feel that we are not capable enough to take decisions on our own. As we see today, the incidents, the action of our parents, the advice given have led us to what we are today. We have realized that out parents have taught invaluable lessons during our growing years by controlling our activities and various responses to the situations. The naming “Code of Conduct” of life fits very well. I would like to add that the realization of these code of conducts has turned out stronger when I had my own child and I had to be his guiding force. Your words have brought back some amazing childhood memories. A person is known by his/her character, generosity and kindness. The early childhood days are most pivotal to develop these traits and who better than parent to help their child on the initial journey. Looking at the importance of the code of conduct, now code of conducts are being followed by most of the corporates which guides their employee in a right direction.

Thank you, ma’am, for highlighting the significance of values and discipline that we need in our life in such a short and emotional story of yours that is quite inspirational in my opinion. Reading your article brought back memories of my childhood days of how my parents raised me to be a sincere person. I could completely relate to the article, as my parents were also a tad strict and this helped to develop a discipline to do my job with utmost sincerity. I do believe that it is only in the childhood age a child develops a value system by which he/she lives by, throughout his/her life. It is the only time when personality, character, ethics towards others are developed. These are the values that defines an individual and his approach towards life. When I came to SPJIMR I had only heard about the rigorous curriculum that one has to go through, and after experiencing it first hand, I feel myself to be quite fortunate that my parents were strict towards me when I was young, as it is only the sincerity towards my work and my peers that has helped me to meet the requirements of the program. I have learnt that, in life to achieve anything valuable in life, one has to be highly committed towards his goals, and this commitment is only developed in one’s childhood and not in the later years. It is the job of the parent to see to it that their child develops this sincerity. But it not only the discipline that defines an individual but also the empathy that he/she has towards people around him/her as can be seen in your article after your fathers’ sad demise many people turned up and remembered about his politeness and generosity. It is not only what we do that defines us but also the legacy that we leave behind for the future generations to follow. And somehow all of it has an origin in ones’ childhood.

The blog is indeed a beautiful journey through several heart-touching anecdotes which made me nostalgic. I could relate to the incidents more as I experienced a similar upbringing. As a child my father always stressed upon the importance of values in a person. He would always tell us earn a little less but never be poor form the heart. My mother would often go out of her way to help others. Though my parents were not as strict, but they made sure we learn the right values and regards for other people irrespective of their age, position, gender, caste, etc. They would say if a person is working in a small job they deserve more respect, and this is the reason I would never talk back to our house help or driver. They would always point out that we should never in any condition throw the garbage on the roads. We could throw the garbage on our house’s floors but never on the streets. There are many such incidents but more than the incidents I realized their importance in me as an individual later in life. During childhood, I felt a little frustrated sometimes as it was hard to comprehend why can’t I just throw my ice-cream cup in the open and search not search for a dustbin! Obviously, I was too young to understand that but now I understand how these values totally depend on one’s upbringing. They define oneself as a person and these are the things that make us stand apart. I believe this is the real treasure of life which will remain with me the entire life. As the saying goes, “It is not hard to make the decision ones you know what your values are”.

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