Why I’m worried, my children

The parent in me can rest happy only when I know that along with the achievements, you are imbibing the right mix of human qualities through education, and make a society we all dream of living in.

Published - June 30, 2015 12:19 am IST

Illustration: Satwik Gade

Illustration: Satwik Gade

We as parents are really proud of you. You come out with flying colours in examinations and in extra-curricular activities. You take the name of your school to new heights at every event. Your hard work and commitment to your set goals, the efforts and prayers of your parents, support from your teachers as well as the ambience and facilities of your school are all factors behind this. We parents do take pride when you distribute chocolates after the results of every examination or competition, year after year.

But, dear children, all these achievements do not make the parent in me contented. I always worry whether at the end of the day I’ll be doing justice as a responsible parent — it is the responsibility of parents to mould out of you a good society for tomorrow. The time and effort we expend on you must ultimately contribute towards shaping that society — a society of values, a society of knowledge and a society of right individuals.

Looking back at my own generation, I’ve enough reason to be worried. Though our generation too has produced many great individuals that the nation will be proud of, with achievements that will remain benchmarks, I’m sure we as a society is far behind in terms of values that make for a good society.

If you just look around and observe society today, I’ll not have to explain what I’m lamenting about and why I’m worried of the growing-up generation. Greed and selfishness remain the driving forces behind the lives of people of the current generation, in spite of all the education we got. People confine to themselves and are ready to go to any extent for their own pleasures. Every ounce of power and authority is more often used for favouritism or selfish gains than for any social good. Though values are preached in classrooms and students score high marks in such topics, they fail to imbibe and practise what they learn.

And, dear children, that precisely is my concern about the society we are meant to mould out of you. I am sure you too will have many success stories to tell the world, about your achievements in life and career. But will you have imbibed the qualities that make for a good society? Will we as parents deliver the right genre of people to the world? Or will it be just a continuation of the society we have today?

A cultured and civilised society alone can be called an educated one, and we parents as well as your teachers succeed only if you make such a society tomorrow from what you learn and gather from us. It must be one where you as citizens recognise and honour your responsibilities before your rights or privileges. Respect and consideration for others will be the guiding principles. Power and authority — be it small or big — will be used for the benefit of the society and never for personal gains. The high-handedness and lawlessness of the mighty will cease to be the order of the day. Women will travel with their modesty intact even in a crowded bus or train or in a lonely place at any time of the day or night. Harassment or abuse of children will not be heard of in that culture.

It will all be different from today’s society where men relieve themselves in the open in every corner of the street and people smoke and spit in or throw rubbish in the public space. Road rules and the rights of others will be honoured by everyone. Citizens will always display basic manners in a group. They will be careful not to offend others by their acts.

In simple terms, education has to make you human beings before taking you to the top of the world. The parent in me can rest happy and contended only when I know for sure that along with the many achievements, you also imbibe the right mix of human qualities through education, and make a society we all dream of living in.

But I’m still unsure if in the present situation we’ll ever achieve this. And I don’t know where to look for the answers either.


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