For a long time we have been celebrating Children’s Day on the 14th of November. While other special occasions for Valentines, Mothers, Fathers have got commercialized, thankfully Children’s Day has retained its very purpose and simplicity. I think every day has to be a special day for children. It is not about the celebrations as much as the essence of it..
14th November takes me back to my school days, when we were given two laddoos and were taken to the theatres for a film. The whole school would walk to the theatre after lunch. The 20+ minutes walk on the road was more enjoyable than the movie itself. Chatting, munching, added fun element. The theatre was booked for the school and we would only hope that we had a place in the balcony. It was all a matter of luck. Some had to sit in the front rows. The goodbye Girl, Airport, Hitler, The Greatest, Saturday Night Fever, Close encounters of the Third Kind, Gharonda, Amar, Akbar Anthony, ABBA, Oh God, Shirdi ke Saibaba were some of the films that we saw. It was compulsory. Packets of munchies would go down our throats if the film was not to our liking. We lined up outside the theatre, to again trot back to school. The teachers ensured that we did not get homework that day.
Today sadly, I can’t give you, my children, a taste of that. The world has changed and we have to prepare you for the change. This blog is about it. Childhood is the most beautiful phase of one’s life. I want you to retain a child like wonder, curiosity, joy , innocence, simplicity, fun that you are born with. You learn to solve a lot of complex mathematical problems with great ease, you are able to write critical essays, debate over current issues, write programs, make robots but are you able to handle yourself in unexpected situations? These skills cannot be taught. You have to learn and equip them yourself, no matter how complex things may appear outside.
While I don’t want it to be a lecture (which I personally don’t do), I want to spell out what you must know yourself. I am sure you will appreciate the concern I have, an effort to help you be strong and independent. You must learn to say please, sorry and thank you graciously. Small words of appreciation at the dining table will bring a twinkle in the eyes of your mother or grand-mother. Don’t throw your lunch time chapatis/sabzi in the bin because you have the money to eat in the canteen. Remember all the children on the streets who go hungry all through the day. Your mother too, would have ‘sacrificed’ her sleep to get up early to make your tiffin. Show appreciation and empathy. Be stingy in your words for criticism and generous with your words of appreciation.
Be a financial literate even if you are only 5. You must develop lifelong money skills. Be able to assess independently, what you like, what you want and what you need. Spend, if you must. Use resources available (easily) judiciously and do not destroy things for fun or “you are being dared”. Be it at home or in school or any public property, it is not worth spending your money wastefully. Don’t fall for someone who says money can buy anything. Money can get you a seat in a University and a course of your choice anywhere in the world but it cannot give you the self-respect nor satisfaction that you would have earned for yourself if it were with your own efforts. It will not boost your self-esteem, the feel -good factor. Take an educational loan, if you can, and work to pay up. You will be proud to be a” self-made wo/man”and no one can take credit for your success.
You are all born intelligent and with good education, you are skilled. But, you must use your cognitive skills to be able to think, reflect, create, innovate and inspire. The digital world that we live in, offers immense opportunities for your growth and development. Your wisdom should guide you to develop something that is useful for the society. Develop positive thoughts, convert your good thoughts to action. Conscious actions give you the power to create. It gives you the power to translate your personal ideas into a strong tangible process that will impact the world in a positive way. Remember that small opportunities will come often in a day, capitalize on them to get the big break. You will be surprised to unearth the potential in you.
When you wake up every morning, spend two minutes for yourself – how are you going to approach the day till the next morning? This power is yours. The choice is yours. How are you going to make the right choice to make the change? How will you ensure that the transition is smooth?
I am a great believer and a follower of this power and I have immense faith and trust in you.
Happy Children’s Day !