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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Making Children Good Human Beings

A man was reading a philosophy book in a mental asylum. He was looking healthy and didn't appear to be a mental patient. I sat beside him and asked why he was there? The man looked at me with astonishment and when he was assured that I wasn't a doctor, he started narrating : ' My father was a famous lawyer. He wanted me to become a lawyer. My mother wanted to see in me the image of her father. Uncle wanted me to become a successful businessman like him. Sister wanted that I followed her husband's footsteps. Brother wanted that I became an athlete like him. In school, tuition and music classes, they wanted me to become like them. No one bothered to look at me as a human being. They all looked at me like a mirror. Frustrated, I decided to come here. I realised that this was the place where I could live with my 'true self'. 

Khalil Gibran's abovementioned short story is an apt commentary on the traditional way of bringing up children. We all want our offspring to become doctors, engineers, I A S, P C S etc. etc. We just don't want to know what the children want to do. This often happens that what we can't achieve in life, we want our children to achieve and accomplish that. We treat our children as the extensions of our dreams. Here lies the problem. When our expectations  are not fulfilled, we blame our children. Can't we teach our children to become good human beings? Should success be determined by a few greenbacks, high designation, a big bungalow and a sparkling car? In a society, where all these materialistic considerations become the priorities and humanity gets sidelined, corruption, immorality and wrong doings will invariably creep in. 

So why to crib and for whom? Aren't we unknowingly bringing up our children in a manner that they ultimately grow up devoid of all moral values? Snowed under the avalanche of our overambitious expectations, aren't children losing their mental equlibrium? Shelving the set patterns of parenting, we need to ponder in a different frame and before making our children ' a big and successful individual ', we should strive to make them  human beings, who can think independently and act responsibly in life. 

Becoming a good individual is the first and foremost priority. Success will automatically follow. To quote Ghalib, ' Bas ke dushwar hai har kaam ka aasaan hona / Aadmi ko bhi mayassar nahin insaan hona' (Pity, every step is such an uphill task/ It's difficult for a man to become a (good) human being). Always remember, children can't be made good by making them happy, but they can be made happy by making them good.  

                                               -----Sumit Paul

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