The other day my friend Sudhakar had come for a chat and we spent some quality time together. In our home, we have a plaque given by the organization called “Nurture” to Jaya. Sudhakar saw this plaque and asked about the same. Jaya helps through this organization, startups in Pune, nurtures them, hand holds them. Like the child is let go while learning to ride a bike, at some stage she lets them go. Some organizations sore high in the sky, some fall and try to rise again. It is the nurturing done that is important.
The word just lingered in my mind and I kept on thinking about it, its meaning, its origin and got a feeling how appropriate this word is! English is an interesting language, sometimes the English words, define or explain the meaning perfectly whereas sometimes they are vague.
The origin of this word Nurture is from old French noureture, “nourishment”; based on Latin nutrire “feed or cherish”.
As a verb it means to take care of, feed, and protect someone or something, especially young children or plants, and help him, her, or it to develop, to help a plan to be successful. Modern dictionary may add the new meaning about helping of modern day startups, to grow from their babyhood to a successful organization. As a noun, it means the way in which children are treated as they are growing, especially as compared with the characteristics they are born with. This can apply equally to young startups to young professional.
Jaya has helped many startups, as technical social work; there is success story about a person with PhD in Chemical engineering. He had developed many products to improve agriculture productivity. As normally happens, he was very proud of the products he had developed. When he met Jaya, he was struggling with business. When Jaya told him to concentrate initially, on one product, he was not very happy; he wanted to dabble in all the products together, those were his creations. But after sometime, he realized the meaning of what Jaya told him. He came up with his best product and started concentrating on the same. He was a brilliant scientist and a hard worker. He needed nurturing, he needed hand holding. Rest as they say is history. Recently UNESCO has given him a large grant to spread the use of his products in technologically extremely backward African countries. I think his role will also be to nurture their farmers! The baton has passed on!
This keeps on happening in the world. The goodness keeps on spreading. The baton keeps on passing. This also keeps on happening about good deeds that everybody keeps on doing. When you help someone, you should never expect anything in return. The good Samaritans of this world never do it. What I have seen is that the good deeds pass around in an open circle. The person who has been helped, always remembers the good deed, he may not return the gesture to the same person who helped him but he will do it to the next person, as soon as he gets the opportunity.
I am sure the same is true with Nurture. I am now talking about the verb. If a person is nurtured, in later stage of the career he or she will nurture some persons and the chain will continue. We humans have been nurturing our children, our trees since long. It is natural for a person to nurture someone who needs it. In humans, the need for nurturing is much more compared to animals or trees. Babies in humans need nurturing for maybe up to 20 years. But in case of other species or fauna, this period is much smaller. Is this because we humans think, talk and have a much smarter brain? It is also because other species need to develop skills only to gather food and survive in the world. Many skill sets that humans learn, are not needed by them.
There is always a debate going on about nature versus nurture. How a plant looks or how a human behaves, how the human develops, depends on the genes. A rose plant and its flowers are beautiful as per genes but they really bloom when they are nurtured. An Alphonso Mango is the king of fruits but to develop and grow Mango orchards is the long process of many years. We see the result of the long efforts taken by someone. That person has nurtured them, has given them water at the right time, has taken care their health. In some cases, business may be involved and, in some cases, it may be personal. Similarly, when we nurture humans it could be sometimes at a fee but then I would not call it nurture, I would call it consulting fees!
At the end of the day, what do you expect when you nurture something. You want to see beautiful flowers blooming, lovely fruits hanging on the trees, a confident, smart and successful person handling his or her profession smartly. When we are happy with well nurtured plants, we say, “Hey why not come and see my Roses? Why not see my Bonsai?” Similarly, you feel happy, elated when the person nurtured by you looks good, successful, competent and confident. That is time when you know that time has come to let go and enjoy them shout, “Mumma, see no hands!” The person you have nurtured is now riding the bicycle or the destiny, on own!