This was an exercise I really loved. As on many occasions, it was initiated by my ever-enthusiastic daughter – Stuti.

We were having dinner. Most likely my mother would have said something reflecting under confidence in herself. (Some people having this habit of under-rating their wonderful life – but that’s a different topic to write about).

Stuti doesn’t like people becoming negative and would not let this go by. I was sitting next to my mother. Stuti asked me to say something good about my mother.

One thing about my daughter – you can’t say “No” to her for 2 reasons:

1.      She generally asks for the right things.

2.      If you say no – she will gently, sweetly and persistently make sure you end up saying “Yes”.

It’s funny about family – while we may appreciate each other, we don’t express it. It’s generally taken for granted – the morning coffee, the timely food, clothes washed and stacked properly, whole days spent to get the month-end salary, the laughter – so many such day-to-day occurrences.

So, when Stuti persisted that I say something good about my mother, I thought (for maybe a minute) and I said a couple of lines about her balancing work and family when I was a child. It didn’t really change my mother’s perception (old impressions don’t fade quickly). So Stuti passed on the baton to my wife, Subhashree, who was sitting next to me. By the time she had finished, Stuti brought up the full scheme – everyone was to tell something good about everyone else.

We all fell in line and it was a great 15-20 minutes spent over the dining table. Six people telling each other what’s good about them. We didn’t get up even after we had finished eating as the round robin scheme was still continuing.

A lot of positivity was generated that night. It was an exercise which reinforced several beliefs and strengthened the familial bonds.

I would recommend every family to do this – maybe even on a regular basis and I do hope you see how much it makes a difference over time.

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Subhash Iyer

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