Sunday, November 8, 2015

Setting ideals



There have been happenings around the globe that are inconsiderate and require immediate attention. One such incident that took place in America a few days back has left the world aghast. It was about a child firing a gun shot at his friend and killing her only because he just wanted to touch the pet and his friend did not allow him to do so. Attitude of complacency and intolerance among the teenagers is making the world around, a pandemonium and an unfriendly place to live in. The episodes of teenagers hitting each other and the students over-reacting to situations, is worsening day by day. This is one such crucial subject that needs to be addressed urgently and if not done so, will certainly become devastating for the society in the coming years. Another episode of a student of class ninth hitting one of his classmates, in one of the schools, in which the latter boy succumbed to death, was also alarming. Unfortunately, all that happened within minutes and by the time the teachers on duty approached, the victim had already collapsed. This act was actually a reaction of the student who could not tolerate the other students’ mischief, as a result lost his own life. The question that arises here is of the attitude of patience and tolerance in today’s generation. Are we making our children less tolerant or protecting them to the extent that they think their actions are justified even if they are not! Or are we teaching them rebelliousness in the name of self-defence?
 Psychologists say that as the children grow, they learn from their surroundings, their parents, grandparents and teachers. Every act of others around is copied by the child being unaware of its righteousness. Although this is a proven fact yet the elders seem to be indifferent towards it and are moving far from the idealistic standards. Least do they realize that the children tend to emulate them in everything that they do. Parents merely laugh at the ‘innovative’ acts of the child, whereby, the child thinks it to be right and tries to amuse them more often. All this gradually turns into habit, seeking further acknowledgement from parents. To consider them the victims of  changing scenario more amount of freedom than should actually be given, is granted to the child, without even estimating the upshots. Now, this becomes lethal. A combination of indiscriminate freedom, unnecessary appreciation and less indulgence of parents lead to disintegrated personality of the child. As the child grows up, he/she finds it difficult to cope up with the existing challenges and hence is stressed. The positive and negative stress is much talked about these days, as a new term ‘eustress’ has evolved for good stress. Negative stress drains one’s energy and there are mental as well as physical problems because of it. Whereas,  eustress improves the performance by motivating and focussing the energy in the right direction.
It is a general feeling that the result is always good in challenging circumstances as the person strives to do the best in a little stress. It might yield a positive result. Nevertheless, if someone has a sense of urgency to complete a task, this becomes a short term stress and is a positive stress. But, if one is stressed on account of incompetency, feels over burdened and is bogged down by the hindrances, he may feel distressed and have a negative impact on his capabilities. All these feelings are also formed at the tender age of childhood. Again the same reference should be taken into consideration that a child absorbs everything right from infancy and in his mind, dwell the childhood experiences. So, whether the stress taken by him/her is distress or eustress, is the learning of the individual in the nascent years. It is said that a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body, hitherto, impressions become indelible.
We recently had our Annual Day celebrations. The themes of our Annual Day’s are based on morals and ethics. “Shashwat Satya” as it was titled meaning thereby- pure and pristine truth, was surfaced with extremely candid questions of a child of class five. The entire play was a dance drama on famous personalities of the past and present like Kabirdas, Lord Krishna, Ram Prasad Bismil, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Lata Mangeshkar, who with their dauntless courage and commitment enthused perseverance and patriotism in posterity. At the climax of the show, this small child asks a few thought provoking questions to the audience, which left them contemplating to the core of their hearts. His query was that if the adults keep two or more mobile phones and talk indiscriminately whereas if a child even plays with it, why is he considered to be incorrigible? As it is the parents’ who provide the mobile to the child. Similarly, if an excuse is made by the adults to shun any responsibility, it is justified but what if the same is done by a child, why is he labelled as a liar? They teach the lesson of punctuality in life and work, however, do they practice it themselves? The manner in which the adults speak with their parents, is very blatant and harsh, still why is their demeanour never objected? Parents are the ideals not only in words but also in deeds to their children and they need to inculcate all those values and virtues that they expect their children to follow.  Be it Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel or Mahatma Gandhi, the friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama, the sacrifice of Ram Prasad Bismil and his intense patriotism, all these feelings should be poured unto the students like nectar. If the thoughtless actions of adults are reasonable, then why all the emulations of the child are unjustified? We adults might not realize the shift of our behaviour from morally correct to socially defiant as this transition is effortless and common. Adding to the misery, the aspirations of parents for IIT and other degrees of repute in one of the big cities, popularly known as ‘education hub’, is taking a toll on the lives of the students. Perhaps the student does not realize its serious repercussions, so the parent will have to take the lead to make him understand and also should give him the confidence to succeed. Though, success might have a different definition for some. We need to understand and critically analyse our own actions at the first place and then preach the children about right and wrong. The immense potential our kids and teenagers have, has to be recognised and channelized. Unless this is done, the adult demeanour will always be an apple of discord. In this case, the onus lies with the family members, other adults and teachers, to mould the primitive years of children in a prudent manner so that the same can come handy to them later in their lives. Freedom given should also be discreet so that the child comprehends his rights and duties. Patience at home, school or work also has to be taught in order to create a peaceful society. Home and school i.e; the parents and teachers will have to share this responsibility collectively.
Media is indispensable today and a major role is played by the media in such circumstances. Only if the role is one of ‘responsibility’, media with the power of pen can transform lives. It has been done in many cases a number of times.  Putting the negatives on a back burner and promoting the good in the society so that the children can learn, understand and follow it, is the real role.    
It is my request to the readers to view this subject earnestly and ponder upon it. The visibly hidden traits will be discovered at an individual level by introspection and analysis of our acts. What we as parents, teachers, elders and responsible citizens can kindle is, that our words and deeds should match.