I remember once many years ago, catching a flight and standing in line for my security check; suddenly a family of eight walked down the line to the head of the queue and the father and another gentleman who I presumed was the uncle started pushing all the members into the line.
I protested and called the security personnel at the Delhi airport who pretended not to have seen anything, meanwhile the man had pushed his whole family of sons and daughters and wives into the line. I watched in disbelief and yelled at them to go to the end of the line.
"But I have been standing in this same line!" he lied with a grin.
"Liar!" I muttered to myself.
"What did you call me?" asked the man and his companion walking towards me.
"Why a liar!" I said.
"How dare you call me one?" he shouted.
"Shall I tell you why?" I asked and suddenly I had his attention and the undivided attention of all the security personnel and others who were too scared to make a noise, "I called you a liar because you just said a lie, and you were heard by your sons and your daughters!" The man grinned at his son who grinned back.
"Tomorrow!" I continued, "when that same son is arrested for something more heinous than jumping a queue and you ask the world where he picked up such a criminal habit you will have no one else to blame but yourself. Sons and daughters," I said, "learn from their fathers and mothers!"
They let me go ahead and there was no grin on their faces.
And here's a true story:
Around twenty years ago I got a call from an airhostess, "Help me!" she wept into the phone, "I am a kept woman! I'm not allowed to move out of this house. I'm being kept a prisoner by a man who does what he wants with me when he has the time and he's told me he'll kill me if I try to escape!"
As a journalist I decided to write about it but the lady was too scared to come out into the open. The man, a minister, later died under tragic circumstances and within a month his son was found in the possession of drugs and it made newspaper headlines.
"How did he become like this?" asked the widow and I smiled sadly when I heard that cry from a woman who knew all along who was tutoring her son so well.
How often we used to tell our children when the old landline used to ring, "Say I'm not at home!" And the tutoring starts from those incidents. Start learning to be a role model. It's not their boyfriends, girlfriends, or so- called bad company that’s to blame when something disastrous happens to them later, it's you! Yes you,..! "
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org