(My Rating: 5/5)
My father bought me Golden Rules: The Ten Ethical Values Parents Need to Teach Their Children, when I must have been somewhere in the age group of 19 – 21 years. A few weeks ago, when I decided to properly read the book as part of my Reading Challenge 2016, I smiled to myself as I read what my father, with his usual dry humor, had written in it:
Just in case we forgot some.
Dosick begins the book by stressing the important role parents have to play today (the book was published in 1996) even more than before in imparting sound ethical values to their children, the adults of tomorrow. He then devotes the next 10 chapters to one ethical value each.
Every chapter begins with a short, simple story that highlights the importance of the value / moral he is explaining, followed by his advice and little tips and exercises (called Lumies) that make it easy to get the message across to children and help parents help their children actually practice the value. The chapters end with a story to read to one’s children, questions for discussion with one’s children (according to their age) and finally, a short prayer.
The concepts are so beautifully simplified that it makes deep, philosophical thoughts easy to understand.
I think this book is meant for everyone, not just parents. It is the sort of book that one can refer to in times of doubt, when faced with moral dilemmas.
For example, for me there wasn’t anything in the book that I didn’t already know about, but there were a couple of chapters whose topics I was glad to be reminded of. I also found the book very reassuring. It helped me come to terms with some of the difficult situations I am currently facing. It gave me courage to persist with these difficult situations, because it reminded me of why I made certain decisions in the first place and that though the journey down certain paths may be difficult, I am going down the path for the right reasons and the end result will be worth it. In that sense the book has the ability to reassure you in difficult times and help you continue to do good and make sacrifices for noble causes. I think it helps you to either try to be or continue to remain a better human being.
If Wayne Dosick believed that this book was the need of the hour for parents 20 years ago, I am sure he will not disagree with me when I say it is even more relevant 20 years on, given the world we live in right now. The children of today, do, in my opinion, need to understand the importance of the 10 values he speaks about – Respect, Honesty, Fairness, Responsibility, Compassion, Gratitude, Friendship, Peace, Maturity and Faith.
I am quite certain that whoever you are, at whatever stage in your life you are, and whatever you might be going through in life right now, you will find at least some parts of this book relevant to you.