A lesson learnt

I enjoy writing. I've done it for a living. Sometimes I've liked what I wrote and sometimes I haven't. But I've always managed to beat the deadline. But let someone tell me to 'write without thinking' and I draw a blank. My mind, as that of many writer friends, is so conditioned to think and analyse and correct that it has forgotten what it's like to let go.

Today's prompt asks us to do just that. It's Free Write time at the Write Tribe Festival of Words on Day 3 and I'm stuck yet again. After staring at the computer for a while I gave up and decided to go get some work done to get the mind out of its 'I am a big blank' state.

I had to pick a gift for a friend so I walked over to a gift shop near where I live. It's an amazing place - Warm and cosy and full of amazing knick knacks and deserves a full post.

As I walked in I spotted a little girl of about 10 with a dark mop of curly hair sitting in the shop 'designing' book marks. She finished one with a flourish and showed it to her mum, the store owner/manager, 'How's it mama?' She asked eagerly. 'You think they'll sell?' 

Humouring her, the mum called out to me and asked, 'What do you think? Would you buy this for Rs 30/-?'

I turned from where I was browsing the wares and looked at the slightly crooked bookmark, then at the little girl's innocent look of eager anticipation and  replied, "Yeah I think I would." The mum however had no such compunctions. Said she, "I don't think I would. You need to make the edges straighter and the colouring needs to be more evenly done." 

Without seeming put out at all the little girl started over, diligently cutting out a fresh strip of paper and designing it again. Soon she was back to her mum with a much better piece. "How's this one? Do you like the design?"

I loved the way the girl took her mum's criticism... How positive she was. Perhaps she was used to it - this honest and frank evaluation from her mum.

Often in an attempt to spare our children heartache we tell small white lies. I know I do. That really doesn't work in the long run. It would have been easy for the mum to put those crooked bookmarks in a corner of her shop. But then, when they would have found no takers how heartbroken would the little girl have been. Worse, she would have never trusted her mum's judgement again. Even worse, if some suckers like me would have bought them (30 Rs are easy to spare), she would have been content with her efforts and would never have learnt to get better.
And so another age-old maxim proves it's worth .... Honesty is truly the best policy.

A lesson for me too - Sometimes to get somewhere or to get something done, we need to stop trying too hard. Sometimes, the trick, is to let go. I just did!

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

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