In this series titled as "Myths and Matters" I am presenting few "Moments of Truth" that unfolds in our life as a wisdom after we suffer due to false understanding of our relationship with our loved ones or life events. When this wisdom dawns on us we have nearly finished our life and hardly left with few years to apply these wisdom to achieve peace of mind. It is prudent to learn from other's mistakes, as we may not have time to commit all of them by ourselves, as life span is insufficient to do that. In this series I briefly cover one topic at a time about the false understanding as "The Myth" and offer few suggestions under the heading "What Matters".
Please note the serial number that appears on each topic to keep track of the serial. Although there is no sequence for reading, you will be benefitted if you read these topics in sequence for best results. I shall post one topic every Sunday to keep continuity and sustain your patronage. If you find these topics useful, kindly join this blog as follower to get automatic update through your mail when I publish any new post. I would appreciate your comments at the end of this blog, which will act as a feedback for me to improve my blog in the future. Your feedback is the manure for me to continue this effort. Wish you Happy reading and peaceful life ahead.
One of the mental obsessions of all modern parents is to aspire that their children become either an engineer or a doctor – the so-called ‘professionally qualified’. I appreciate the anxiety to take care that our children settle down in their life with a good job and get married on time; but why only as engineer and doctor. The craze for medicine has come down marginally as not all doctors are able to neither establish a lucrative career nor get a well paying job. Strangely this obsession is seen only in India and no where else. This has become contagious and crowd behavior these days haunting the parents right from the time their child is born. To illustrate this behavior here is a real life anecdote:
One of my friends from the south said that she was crying as though some one died in her family while her son could not get engineering admission. She was proud to say that there were more than 100 cars parked outside her house, which belongs to the people who came to console her. She said that she was rolling in the floor and crying un-consolably – normally the way people cry when someone dies in their family.
Eventually when her son got admission in one of the private engineering colleges, she was saying, “I felt miserable to tell my friends that my son is not studying in the well known engineering college”. The boy who was very intelligent, always obsessed of becoming a movie director and cinematographer; he felt that he was born for that. He reluctantly went to the engineering college to satisfy his mother and got his engineering degree. On the day of his convocation he handed over his degree certificate to his mother and said, “Here is the degree you wanted” and pursued his movie career and eventually became what he wanted.
I could not find out the exact genesis of this obsession but I am sure that it is the result of two social developments happened in the last few decades. One of them is proliferation of private engineering colleges and the other is highly paying software engineering jobs. When I was young in sixties there were very few government-engineering colleges. The parents on those days felt that their offsprings must at least become a graduate, as engineering college admission was very difficult to get.
About two to three decades ago politicians started private engineering and medical colleges to make money in an easy way and the concept of “Capitation fee” started. Degree has become a commodity like investing in politics to rob the public money. The other event happened is the ‘Campus Interviews’ for graduate engineers by the software engineering companies. Our engineering community supposed to ‘engineer good products’ have ended up as ‘software engineers’. This migration plus “US fever” has kept the GDP growth of manufacturing companies with a stunted contribution at 27% for the last 30 years. The growth of any economy comes from manufacture and agricultural produce as all other enterprises are support services and have no independent existence. Who cares about the social needs these days, as everyone is busy in taking care of him or herself. The famous saying is “If you want IIT’ians and good Indian coffee, go to US to get it”
Parents are the custodians of their child with a duel responsibility; one is to secure their offspring's future and other as a citizen of the country. If every parent refuses to send their child as a Jawan or a cop, there is no way the the country can survive the onslaught of the enemy waiting to storm us. There is a social system which needs mutual contribution for survival. As parents let us re-educate our mind to relate our role with our child using the following tips:
Tip-1: There could be a Jesus in your child
There was a ‘Buddha’ hiding in Siddhartha, which ultimately manifested in spite of his father king Soddhodana's efforts to suppress. As I have mentioned in my previous topics on Myths and Matters, every human being have come to this planet with a ‘Mission’ to accomplish which is evident from the child prodigies. If not an eight-year-old child won’t sing like Latha Mangheskar unconsciously in front of large celebrities. A mango seed won’t grow as papaya tree and vice versa. Let us find out what seed is waiting to grow in our child and nurture it, as that is all the purpose of parenting.
Tip-2: Education is a passport & not a visa
Education only sharpens the learnability and provides a lead in the career as it is a “Passport and not a visa”. As leaving the country needs passport but entering the other country needs a visa. Like this, to get a job one needs a degree but to grow to higher positions needs talents which is a like a visa. As parents we need to empower our child with talents and behaviours through strong values right at the toddler stage rather than believing only degree will get them everything.
Tip-3: Society needs all talents
Lets look at this social disorder with a different lens. Like a wheel has many parts like rim, spokes, and hub, a forest needs lion, elephant, deer, snakes and the other kind of animals; then only it is forest. If it has only lions then it will perish soon. It is wrong to say that axle is more important than the spokes as all are needed to make a wheel. Similarly the human society needs all kind of skills for its perpetuity. The society is an assembly of various skills such as farmers, bankers, scientists, doctors, clerk, plumber, biotech engineers, and others. If every one is doctors and engineers the society cannot function. The civilization would not have come this far if the multi-functional skills were not available in this planet.
Tip-4: Education & position have no correlation
Most of the celebrity CEOs in the US are not from premier universities but are well known leaders who built institutions. Leadership is a state of a being and has nothing to do with the professional qualification. There is no education, which is superior or inferior to the other. If you are a commerce or science graduate you need not have to feel inferior to any other professionally qualified person. Your ability to lead has nothing to do with your basic education as all education has given only outdated information. The society has created a stigma on certain educational qualification due to ignorance.Please read my book "Pragmatic Leadership" under publication by Tata Mc Graw Hill (under print).
Tip-5: Great people were school drop-outs
Interestingly many great achievers like Einstein and Edison are school dropouts who were heavily criticized for their lack of academic performance as no one could see the genius in them. Their IQ was so high looking for a breakthrough for mankind. They could not adjust to the history and geography, taught in the school, which were information of the past and has no significant value for what purpose they have come to this planet. This made them to think, “Education is for birds”. They belong to the category which Bernard Shaw once said, “Few people see things as they are and ask why; others see things that were not and ask why not. I belong to the later one”. May be your child belong to this community and we may be forcing it to the mundane former category.
Tip-6: The society will always find holes – Ignore it
We always attach more importance to the thought “What people around us will think” rather than our own feelings and needs. Psychology refers this as ‘FSD – Fear of Social Disapproval” which is one of the childhood conditioning by parents making us shameful in the eyes of others. Fear of social disapproval of the parents is the cause of these social parasite due to which parents are looking for the approval of their friends and relatives for validating their children educational qualification. This is clearly a “Ghost’ which has no real existence. If we validate ourselves by the societies opinion, it shows that we have no self-esteem of our own and feeling empty internally. The so-called society is not going to do any dam for our children except this empty threat of commenting about them. Ignore it and listen to your inner voice and feelings.
Our children are our assets and the very reason for our existence in this planet and let us not invalidate them based on their academic pursuits. Let us extend an un-conditioned love towards them and let them blossom as what they have come here for. If they have born as ‘Jasmine’, we cannot make them a ‘Rose’ and if we do, they will never be Jasmine or rose.
Many more Myths and Matters to follow.