Once a parent asked me…

4 min readApr 17, 2021


Parent: My child is always distracted. How do I make her focus on doing her studies?

Me: Good question. Let me explain. The word “focus” is made up of two words, “fo” and “cus”.

No. No. No. Don’t misunderstand. This “fo” is not “F…O” that you say to your boss, in your mind, every time he asks you to do some stupid work and your boss says it to you, on your face, when you ask for a salary raise or promotion. This “fo” is less dramatic but equally powerful. It is made of 2 letters “f” and “o”. “f” is the 5th letter in the English alphabet and “o” is the 17th letter in English alphabet. Ok?

Parent: Ok (says in a sort of “what’s going on” tone)

Me: What Ok? I said “o” is the 17th letter of English alphabet. Is it 17th? Common. It’s 15th letter. Please focus seriously. Ok. No issues. Let’s move ahead. So, this “fo” adds up to number 2.

Parent: It adds up to 20, not 2 (says sarcastically).

Me: Paying attention seriously does not mean applying your logic. It means seeing what I want to show and nothing else. Add 2 and 0 of 20. What do you get?

Parent: Ok (says in a sort of “what non-sense is going on” tone)

Me: Now 2 is an important number. It’s the only even prime number in Mathematics. Is it a coincidence that we have 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 hands, 2 legs, 2 lungs, 2 kidneys?

Parent: I don’t know (says in a sort of “what non-non-sense is going on” tone)

Me: I didn’t ask you anything. You saw a question mark in your mind’s eye after “2 kidneys” in my previous statement. There was just a full stop there. I wasn’t asking you any question… I was just wondering at the miracle of life. Please focus

Parent: Oh. Ok. (says in a sort of “what non-non-non-sense is going on” tone)

Me: So, “fo” is a very special word because it’s unique. Now coming to “cus”. Again, this sounds like “cuss” but it’s one “s” less. I mean one letter “s” less and not one “ass” less. “FO” and “cuss” go together while “fo” and “cus” go together. Got it?

Parent: Yeah (says in a sort of “what non-non-non-non-sense is going on” tone)

Me: Good. Now “cus” is made up of three letters, “c”, “u” and “s”. “c” is the 3rd letter, “u” is the 21st letter and “s” is the 19th letter. Right?

Parent: Counts quickly and says, Yeah (says in a sort of “what non-non-non-non-non-sense is going on” tone)

Me: Good. It all adds up to 7. 7 has a special place in religions. Also 7 are the notes in music, 7 are the days in a week, 7 are the colors in a rainbow, etc. Not only that in a slot machine three 7’s is the number of jackpot sequence. In other words, 7 is also unique.

<<<By this time, I could see the parent is getting pissed off…>>>

Me: Are you focusing? Do you Understand?

Parent: What should I understand here? (says sarcastically)

Me: Focus and you will understand.

Parent: How the hell one can focus on this nonsense? (says angrily)

Me: Why not? If you have the right to ask your child to focus on nonsense, you also have the responsibility to focus on the nonsense life gives you. Children after all learn by seeing what we do and not what we say.

Parent: What do you mean? (says very angrily)

Me: Calm down. First of all, I am sorry for all this. Let me get down to point.

If you like what’s in front of you, you focus.

If you understand the purpose of what’s given to you, you focus.

If you feel the need to take what’s given to you, you focus.

If you get a freedom to express your thoughts, you focus.

If you get freedom to explore, you focus.

Now rewind our conversation and ask yourself if any of the above was there in it?

The simple answer is No. That’s why you lost focus.

You can’t have focus when you are told what to do, where to do, how to do, when to do, etc. etc.

Remember focus can’t be demanded. Focus is an outcome.

Did you ever care to ask your child what she wants to learn?

No! You just demanded focus.

Let me tell you one more thing. “fo” adds to 2 and “cus” adds to 7. So, “focus” adds to 9. There is a 9 letters agglomeration that gets focus and it’s called “inner fire”. Focus happens when the “inner fire” is lit. Try doing that if you want focus.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.


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