“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake ………” That was 68 years ago. What should Independence Day mean to each one of us born in the post- Independence era? Is it a day for us to remember those freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives or is it a day where children participate in a variety of cultural events to be reminded of India’s rich cultural heritage or is it a day to buy flags and place them in cars to show one’s patriotic spirit or is it just a holiday? To us, it ought to be symbolic of the core-values on which lies the edifice of India. It symbolises courage, pride, selflessness, conviction, self-belief, synergy, honesty of purpose and above all integrity.
If our children are already on their mark and have got set …why haven’t they got going? We must check for the missing ingredient. Let us look at some everyday happenings … a project has been announced. Children have been asked to collect information. We parents get into action -we Google, search for information, download, and print and “help” our children to keep the matter ready. Let us see what goes through the child – he has passed on the onus of learning to the parent. If the content is not ready, no matter what the reason may be, it is the parent’s fault. In school, the child reads the matter for the first time and is lost in the jungle of information he has ready-made. The first learnt from this example is the need to have Clarity of Purpose – why are we doing, what we are doing. When they know the purpose, they will find the path.
While it is important for children to think, it is even more important to know how to think. The “how “ comes from all that children go through in their attempt to complete the project satisfactorily. The project will empower children with collection of relevant matter, understanding, analysis, dissemination and creativity. In later stages of their lives, when independent decision –making for personal or/and professional development comes into active play, this exercise would prove them to be effective and quick decision makers. In life, we can clearly see a pattern in wrong decisions made by people – all of them comes from failure to think clearly. This cognitive error comes clearly due to deviation from logic. Quick –fix solutions will lead to irrational and illogical thinking. Let them not grow with the belief that everything can be managed easily. How unpredictable the world is! Let us prepare them for that.
With exposure to different views, different people, different situations, children learn to respect others, yet be convinced of their own standing. This self-belief will give them the courage to blaze new trails and find their little space. This is what I call, their “unique identity”. Discovering and identifying with this unique identity is something that can neither be taught nor enforced. The earlier they find it, the better it is, even it means in a small measure or space. I was perplexed by a question many a time- Why do we have such young achievers in music, sport or digital space, while we have Cement barons arrive only when they are in their 40s? Most of the present- day young achievers are self-starters too. The answer that I can possibly think of is that it takes at least 15 years of training /hands-on experience to be able to get right up there. Children today have the right environment with varied learning experience and parents go out of their way to provide opportunities to develop further interest in a field of their choice and hone their skills well. When a child realises it early in life, he/she starts training and works on it diligently sometimes with some kind of an obsession. So, by the time they are 25, they find their space and create something of their own. They break barriers with courage and conviction, synergise with like-minded people, work hard to innovate leading to a burning desire to be “somebody”. On the other hand, a first time industrialist to-be will set his foot in the industry of his choice only at 22. He must have some shop-floor experience, some managerial experience before he gets started at 30. He will need at least 15 years to make a mark.That explains his arrival at 45. Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovtiz, the Face-book guys or Amit Kumar, the 20 year old gold medallist in CWG or U.Srinivas , the Mandolin Maestro found their unique identity.
So, let us encourage our children to work their way with courage, passion, conviction and drive with determination to the finishing line. Where they want their finishing line to be is their call. When we reach such a point, they can proudly write their blog on ‘India of my Dreams’ and ‘How did I make it happen?’ That would be the proudest moment for me – their teacher. That is my dream!
Here we GO………………………………………….!!!!