Laxmi Agarwal with daughter Pihu and Deepika Padukone.(Source: thelaxmiagarwal/Instagram)
By Dr Paras
It is not easy living with pain and scars of a burn or an acid attack, yet there are those fierce bravehearts like Laxmi Agarwal who are courageously thriving towards a better life. You might wonder how much capacity a child might have to learn from those whose face has melted away.
In a scene from the film Chhapaak, a boy while gardening suddenly notices Deepika Padukone who plays Laxmi standing behind him and his first reaction is to scream. However, children will ultimately enter the phase of "normalisation versus grandiosity" where they aren't ready to face something that they lack the ability to associate with. So, identification and association with brain function is a key part of persuasion, which is influenced through peer pressure or lack of knowledge.
Parents and teachers must inspire children to perceive things differently. They must teach their children the leadership style of Laxmi Agarwal to poke holes in stereotypes.
Sublime is limitless
We need to tell children that the word beautiful is limited and sublime is limitless. We build too many walls and not enough bridges. We must teach them to look at the world with an open mind. As a conversation starter, you can watch the film or trailer together to carry forward the strong social message. You child will discover the reality that every individual has their own life story.
Learn to beat challenges
When Laxmi saw her face for the first time after the attack, she was devastated. Later, she remarked, "He changed my face, not my heart; He threw acid on my face not on my dreams." Ask your child to develop a unique perception of the world. Looking at the world through a single lens makes everything appear the same. Make them become aware of what's around us by watching Laxmi's motivational videos together, where she talks about perseverance, beating the odds and pushing through the pain and challenges. This will inspire your child to follow their heart with courage.
Know that fear is real
Laxmi Agarwal is the name of courage and survival spirit among Indian women. She is a lively women with full of dreams for her future. With her fighting spirit, she not only herself came out of this darkest phase of her life and conquer the fear with courage but also vowed to help others in the same. Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away, her story will definitely inspire and help your child to bravely navigate and conquer the fear they have within.
Nurture a vision
Despite all odds, she discovered her dreams. She continues to live with moral purpose in an enlightened way. Encourage your child to become fearless and use their creativity and imagination to help them track their success.
Build relationships with confident communication
A cafe run by acid attack survivors attracts visitors from around the world. The women of Sheroes' Hangout serve coffee and share their personal stories. It is a very good idea to take a trip with your child and visit the café to encourage your child to build their own level of communication with the victims. There real-life inspirational story stands as a wonderful example of faith and willpower, which can help your child to discover their inner strength to battle any odds in life.
(The writer is a life-leadership coach and founder of Matrrix.)