Obviously, Santa Claus does not exist in real, but then why do we create such fictional characters?
‘You better not laugh, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.’ Or so goes a Christmas carol. Don’t we all know that there is NO Santa Claus? But he exists, not just for all lil kids the world over, but even for some adults who refuse to let go of their childhood dreams and imaginations. He comes on December 25 each year, riding merrily on a sleigh driven by Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, and while jangling his bells, he also distributes carefully chosen gifts to all children.
Likewise, wise people of yore have created scores of characters for us to formulate into stories to tell our little ones. Sometimes, to teach them some values in life, at times for inculcating a sense of hygiene in them, and then some more.
Like Popeye eating spinach. Or Spiderman, Batman, Superman and so many other fictitious characters doing their bit to bring in a feeling of ‘all izz well’ in the universe of children. The basic underlying fibre behind such fables and tales is more or less the same. That there is always a triumph of the good over the evil. That, whatever happens, truth always prevails. It is the wrongdoers who are punished at the end of the day. All things wise and wonderful come out winners at the finishing post.
More importantly, there are potent messages, those which give us reality checks in our daily lives too interspersed in such stories. Moral science or value education based small tales which inform you the importance of things like having a bath daily will keep you clean; telling lies is a bad habit; one should eat healthy food and not junk items very often; keep your clothes neatly folded and piled up; one should brush teeth twice each day; early to bed and early to rise will keep you healthy, wealthy and wise; one should not just be fair weather friends; et al.
Like says Mehak Verma, a young girl attending law college, “my parents always asked me to say a short prayer of thanks before each meal. This was to show me how essential food is for us and that it is something that not everybody on our planet earth is blessed with.”
In fact, both she and her twin Khushboo were always encouraged to maintain a daily diary “to record all big things which happen in our lives and times. This was to make us feel gratitude for the universe for blessing us with what a lot of other children did not have. And to make us strive towards getting and achieving what we did not possess.”
Such nuances, however, small they may be, or whatever little time is devoted towards them, help in heralding a sense of discipline and an overall environ of thanksgiving in children.
After all, how many of us have everything we wish for? Very few. But still, if we are gracious enough to be thankful for what we do own, there is an overall environment of positivity around us – which is essential for good nurturing of human values.
And for the creation of a healthy, vibrant atmosphere which cultivates the ethos of the fraternity for all things which the good lord has made.
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