Thursday, January 17, 2008

The stale system

All of us will have spent sometime with kids, 3 - 13 years let's say. One thing we would have come across is their "WHYs" to everything we say. They love the word so much that at one point it annoys or baffles their parents tired from work or plainly bored to replying back.

For example as a kid when my mother used to ask me to follow certain rituals or do things certain way, she will try to answer most of my doubts), but when it came to religious activities or some disciplinary activities, probably I was stretching her brain too hard with my 'WHYs'. I was even being called heretic once by a relative. In her generation blind faith and listen to elders was the norm. In my age, one could question, but she/he has to accept certain things without questioning (There were exceptions, but not any that I could see). I scored, gained merits and lived in accordance with a life charted out by elders, not knowing if that was the best. It did world of good, but independent thinking had a long way to get built.

Come to this era - I recently met some relatives and their kids. they enjoy their lives playing video games, solving board games and running around. When it comes to instilling some values or habits or discipline or in case of kids growing abroad, when it comes to teaching them culture, question "WHY" pops up. I ll never blame these innocent kids. They have all rights to know and it's our responsibility to enlighten then as much as possible. At this age ( early twenties ), i love watching shows like 'How it's made", " Planet Earth", " Wired Science", NGEO and DSC shows. It's simply delightful to see the mystery solved. The way our body works, the way sumo wrestlers build muscles, the way internet and related things work, the way companies make money, the way wine is made, plastic is made, paper is created and what not. Like many other women, when it appears too complex to me, i switch channels...hehe...But fortunately these shows are tailored for uninformed laymen viewers. For mechanisms inside our body or machines , they show animations, which makes them good food for the brain.

In this context I would also like to mention about this movie called 'Taare Zameen Par'. A classic example of how education puts boundaries to a free flowing creative thought process in kids. A very successful Forbes Billionaire pointed out the same thing ' I had no boundaries to think, as I had no education'.

Education should aim towards satisfying this scientific temper ( The hows and whys of life) and equipping people with some life skills ( for example say conflict management, money management etc). Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. A school bag as heavy as the kid itself doesn't translate to knowledge or actual wisdom. Truckload of homework for sure keeps the kid away from school. Some cope well, most do not. Their originality gets stifled. They grow into adults with the same old questions about life they always had, with thousand different answers having confused them, with opinions still pouring in and we have adults who do not know why they are here, what they were meant for, what are they best at, what interests them most. Many live a follow the herd life, with never having done what they always wanted to. There is a brighter side to this picture with advent of internet, with free flow of thoughts and greater freedom, but the same old factors like competition, money and risks prevent us from having a fuller or bigger life and they have us "chasing mode" forever either to please someone or to make money ( out of need or greed) or being simply lethargic to follow our dreams.

The other side of the picture says, what if you do not make it to what you believed you could ? What will happen if all the other kids who started with you have settled and you have dedicated so many years behind this one thing you believed you could and you haven't done anything yet ? Who si ready to place belief in you, invest hard earned money in your eccentric dreams ? Sometime it s our own inherent motivation which decreases due to some external factors. But there is one thing that is true, "Whether you believe you can or cannot, you are right"...

When the mind thinks it cannot do it, it finds out all supporting reasons to reason out why it ll go wrong to tell itself and to others.

When the mind believes it can, it ll find out ways to do it hook or crook. new possibilities are born, new people are born, new ideas arrive. You think boundary-less.


Ego-Centric said...

wow..thought provoking!!

pushkala said...

Good one lady!
it takes on extra effort ... to make a difference!
kash..hum woh step laeh saktae!