I count myself as one lucky person to have been given all sorts of hand-me -downs from my parents and elders. There are beautiful artifacts and foolproof recipes given to me by my mother, and antique furniture which I treasure, received from my mother-in-law. But the most meaningful hand-me-downs in my life are some beautiful family traditions and values which I consider important to pass on to the next generation. Simple things like ‘ Put on your plate only as much as you will actually eat, you are welcome to take a second or even third helping ( which shows that you found the food tasty !) but no wastage please!’
Recently my son could not attend college for a couple of days on account of a muscle sprain. It felt nice when all his friends came to visit him . it was a lovely gesture to come and wish him a speedy recovery. Some of them brought flowers for him and pastries. A friend brought a home made chocolate mousse in a crystal bowl. Later as my son picked up the washed container to return it to his friend , I told him what I had learnt from my mother,’ We don’t return an empty container, fill it with some sweets.’ My son was pleasantly surprised and he obliged. This tradition is followed by many families in our country. It signifies prosperity, contentment and thanksgiving.
Another hand-me-down which both my husband and I firmly believe in, is something that a senior colleague told me several years back. She was a widow and perhaps spoke from some sad experience in her past. This is what she advised ,’ Never sleep after having a fight. When you love someone, don’t wait till the morning to sort out the issue- if need be rise above your ego and say sorry first.’
Life is short ; little sweet and kind gestures make it worth living.