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We were blessed with a baby girl a couple of months back. We have named her Adviti. Adviti from a Hindi / Sanskrit word Advitiya which means unparallel, peerless or no other can be like her (him). As they say in Chinese catch them young, now, I am parenting Adviti and teaching her virtues.

In last couple of months life has changed. A lot has changed for me and specially for my wife – Simple. Having a baby is a huge responsibility and taking care of her has changed us both in many ways. A dimension is added in all these personal, psychological and emotional changes – how do we provide good upbringing to Adviti?

Being bit spiritual, though she is just turning six months, I started reading Jatak tales to her. At times I laughed at myself – I am reading these stories to her in English. I wonder if she understand Hindi (native language) forget about English (non native language). Isn’t it difficult to figure out approach for correct (better) upbringing of kids? Has anyone figured it out?

When I started reading these stories to her, I asked myself, should I teach certain virtues – taught in the stories – to her? I wonder in next couple of years how our society will change.

As a kid I lived around a lot of Jain followers. During those days not eating onion and garlic was natural to me. In fact I am trying to practice their eating habits now too. Besides other concepts, the Jain philosophy teaches a concept – Asteya meaning non stealing. However, in today’s society where morally corrupt make the law and loot are mostly legalized, what is the meaning of a parent teaching such lessons to his/her children?

I have examples of previous 70 years of corruption cases of India alone, forget about the rest of the world. The law gets bent such that corruption – even though it is evident – of these lawmakers become legally correct. It is so difficult to prove – something that looks so evident – that many corruptions happened but we cannot prove it easily – case in point is – case on son of previous finance minister. Our (specially Indian) legal system is so slow and lopsided that it takes 20+ years to get someone jailed (read Sanjay Dutt or Lalu Prasad Yadav) and prove someone innocent (A postman).

Here, it is needless to say that Indian film industry tried proving Sanjay Dutt innocent with all the flaws. Isn’t it possible someone in future will try to paint these current politicians also as innocent? If our culture is getting a narrative that is distorted parents may have doubt in teaching virtues to their kids. Asteya – non stealing – is it just a good concept in books or religious sermons? Does it make sense to teach virtue’s to our next generation?