Stop calculating

At bedtime, I feel the force of societal control pressing down upon us, and I see my child preparing for the next day, wondering if she has done enough.

To undo the damage of school and the body control, the devastation it wreaks upon the self I say to my 8th grade child at bedtime:

“School doesn’t define you. Homework doesn’t define you. Grades aren’t your worth. You have inherent value.”

And I struggle to do this, but I say to myself too – so I remind you too:

Work doesn’t define you. Productivity doesn’t define you. Success at work is not=your value. You have inherent value.

Your conference papers, publications, committees, teaching, research don’t define your worth.

Do it because you want to or if you must, but don’t imagine that this adds up to your worth. You are of inherent value.

If you can do none of this, none at all, you are of value.

If you have no job, you are of value.

If you have no money, no savings, no status, you are of value.

Your worth is not = what work or labor or funds you contribute to an organization, an employer, a family.

Don’t let anyone force you to do the math to prove what you are.

You are of inherent value.


The Time Watcher

I am in charge of Time in my family.

It’s time to go.

It’s time to get ready.

It’s time to eat so you can be ready.

It’s time to do homework.

It’s time to finish and not to linger over homework.

It’s time to head out so we can get there on time. … and so on ad infinitum.

I am the planner, the nag, the clock-watcher, always on alert to ensure the perpetually unwilling dithering masses, focused on higher thoughts and dreams, are drifting in the right direction at the right time.

Aren’t I, as a desi person, supposed to be excused from all this?