S o often have I come across silly posts that talk about the present generation and its uniqueness. They say, “We are the first generation that listens to their children and the last that has obeyed their parents.
“This specific trait shouldn’t be used as a qualification to call oneself “unique” or “limited edition” as I feel that there are too many loopholes in this trait, which prove us to be a hopeless generation than a “proud” limited edition.
Then there are some who boast that this is the last generation that will talk about Amar Chitra Katha, Tom and Jerry,Star Trek,Famous Five,Rangoliand Chitrahaar. It’s the last generation that offers a seat to elders when sitting in a group, that finds it cool to be a non-drinker among alcoholic friends, that knows about the world even without the help of Google, the last to read, the last to drink tap water, the last to find cycling to school trendy and so on.
Well, when we talk of such things do we feel proud or are we merely trying to hide our embarrassment and posing as proud? Had we been proud of the things that we boast of, we should have followed them proudly rather than trying to adapt ourselves to the so called “cool world” around us. We should have handed it over to our children and made them feel interested in it rather than feeling helpless while they laughed it off and reviled it right under our noses. How many of us have handed down our roots to the next generation?
Do our children believe in playing outside rather than on their i-phones and tablets? Did we teach them the folk songs that were handed down to us by our parents? Did we teach them to read? Did we tell them that there are some things that money can’t buy? We had received a beautiful and green world from our forefathers but we invented plastic and our children are paying for it with their health. We invented the computer and the Internet and have become servants of the inventions we had invented to assist/facilitate us.
Our children believe more in Facebook and WhatsApp friends than in making real friends, who would stand with them through thick and thin. We haven’t exposed our children to the wonders of reading like our parents and teachers did. They don’t respect their elders because in a bid to become their “best friends” we forgot our roles as parents. Where did we go wrong? It has been a slow process of negligence.
We wanted our children to get everything that we had missed. But we forgot to give them what we received. We enjoy our lives and work hard to acquire material things for our children instead of giving them what we should in abundance ~ our time, undivided attention and trust. We’ve lostChitrahaar,Rangoli, Ustad Bismillah Khan and his Shehnai to vulgar tunes because we have marketed the latter more at the cost of the other. Our responsibility is to keep what we have and add to it. Putting a check on excesses is also our responsibility.
So, next time, instead of cribbing for the lost times or the endangered generation, we must create an environment where even our children get things they can be proud of.
And the best thing that we can give them is our “Time”, in the real sense.
(The writer is Head of the English department in The Shri Ram Millennium School, Faridabad)