Jul 21, 2023

Book Review: The Wisdom Bridge by Daaji Kamlesh Patel

 A few years back, I read "The Heartfulness Way" and "Designing Destiny" by Daaji. Both were so insightful, especially the former. When I stumbled upon "The Wisdom Bridge", a book on parenting written by the same author, I was intrigued.

It has been a fabulous read and didn't feel heavy for a 290-page book. It is written with such heart-felt experiences and insights that are extremely relatable. There are no SHOULDs and SHOULD-NOTs in a heavy, preachy tone. Rather, the tone of the book is a gentle nudge for parents to introspect various aspects of raising a child.

Books that have a well-defined structure and flow are always pleasant to read. This book is organized into nine principles that are relevant to parenting in today's times.

Whether you are a parent-to-be, new parent, or parents of teens, you'll find topics of relevance. I wish I had got hold of this book a decade ago, as many challenges I was grappling with could have been handled with ease. Nevertheless, I'll pass on the learnings from this book through my book club, so other new parents can be benefitted.

The first two principles are all about why raising a child requires a village. The difference between generation gap and generation chasm is something to ponder for all of us. But at the same time, I don't quite agree with the general assumption that all present-day grandparents have the right knowledge and wisdom to be passed on to grandkids. The wisdom had already been tampered with, thanks to media and changing societal norms.

In my experience, I realized that the lack of wisdom is what caused many misunderstandings in my family (advocating packaged foods, nagging to start solid foods and packet cow's milk from 4 months, mismatched vibrations due to excess worry/fear etc).

As a child, I experienced the value and wisdom of my grandparents but I think the process of wisdom transfer didn't quite happen seamlessly to the next generation. These are biased conclusions based on my experience, which could be an exception and not the norm (I sincerely hope so!).

The 3rd and 4th principles are focused on the state of the mind of the couple before they even start planning for a child and the importance of happiness and well-being of the mothers-to-be and new mothers. The author has brought out examples of caring and nurturing rituals from different parts of the world. He also emphasizes the importance of a mother's well-being from scientific and spiritual perspectives.

Principles 5 and 6 are all about early childhood and how to build the right foundation through the senses of the child. The author talks about the importance of being present for the child, stimulating the senses in the right amount and through the right sources, shaping the character of the child, and being a role model. The way he linked the concept of mirror neurons and how a child imitates her parents was so fascinating.

Principles 7,8 and 9 are about youth/teen years where establishing routines, sleep and eating habits, and setting discipline becomes crucial.

So many takeaways and insights from this book. Sharing just a few here:

"A parent can be friendly, but a parent is not a friend"

"Discipline with love is caring. Discipline without love is enforcing. Love without discipline is pampering"

"Trust is the currency to build responsibility"

"Presence is the real challenge in parenting"

"The fruit of self-discipline is moderation"

"Character is the cause and personality is the effect"

I haven't read many books on parenting. Among the ones I have read, this one is THE BEST so far. Highly recommend it. This would also be a perfect gift for parents-to-be.

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