Monday, 23 February 2009

Things we teach our kids, and why?

My young cousin recently mentioned that according to the doctors he is expected to be around 6 feet tall; and somehow I wanted to hug him and say, "It doesn't really matter how tall you are, there are things far more important that - things that really need working at."

But saying that would have been wrong at two levels.
Firstly, because I am not quite sure if that would have been true. I am not sure where the line lies, but there are people who command your attention simply by the way they carry themselves, or simply by having the kind of looks that they do. I think the world makes it easier for some people to be at peace with their bodies, others have to work harder at it.

Secondly, and this is the more important reason, because it had been me, along with the rest of my dear family, who had told him in the first place that being tall is oh-so-important. Somehow it had been the easier thing to do at that time, easier to make him go outside and play and eat properly, easier than trying to explain that discipline in life helps, easier than trying to explain how our thoughts and our control of them works. It had been easier to explain that we fail only because of the lack of our efforts and by corollary that we succeed only by our own efforts - than telling him that we only have control over our efforts, and in the long run that is all that matters. That the most important success in life is to understand our own selves, and to understand what is truly valuable in life; and not to understand how to manipulate the systems of the world only to get what is considered valuable in the world.

But he is just a kid now, and a thinking one at that - perhaps he doesn't need me to tell him anything, and he already understands that simplifications also have a place in learning. We just climb higher a step at a time; that with every step the same scene looks different.


Harish Suryanarayana said...

This just blew my mind. Some very thoughtful observations there.

neha said...

Thanks Harish. Growing up is serious business, isn't it?