You are very beautiful…

Statistics shows that we, the youth, atleast in India are by far the most involved and proactive generation. This youth population, for which India is set to gain in terms of economic growth. So just as Barbra Streisand says in “The way we were”- “We are a very beautiful generation; the best, the brightest and the most committed”.

But it would not be very incorrect to say that our in children’s generation some kind of stasis has set in. Atleast in terms of developing social skills. A chance encounter with my nephew and his classmates (all kids between the age group of 5 to 7) made me realize where the stasis lay. “What are you playing”? Is all I had to ask to each of these kids and none of them bothered to glance my way. Opening doors of conversations with kids has never been difficult for me but it was definitely an eye opener. It made me realize that their behavior patterns were different from what it had been for us- the so called Gen X & Y.

Our urban lifestyle seems to be at the forefront of personality development. It is based on the premise of individualism and prioritizes “me” and “mine” over “we” and “us”. We seem to optimize our own interest only. Thus the kids who grow up in this lifestyle have very low attention span and time for  others- as in, grandparents, neighbors or cousins. Those significant groups in our growing up years. Gone are the days of spending summer afternoons with cousins on mango trees with Enid Blytons. Children now would rather play videogames right from morning through evening or be glued to their laptops and learn alphabets at readingeggs.com. The straight jacketed approach of us as parents- trying to develop skills in our kids to beat the ever increasing complexity of technology and do well in the rat race has resulted in nerdy kids who are unfriendly and impatient and seem like having stunted social skills.

Another casualty staring us in the face is the possible disruption of nuclear family. Has our urban lifestyle made us so self centred that we are completely missing out on inclusivism? “I think, therefore I am”- the dictum of Rene Descartes is eventually going to take permanent shape in our societies where till a few decades ago joint family was the norm. This seems like a scary thought…

We as parents need to run a check on ourselves and take a break from realizing our careers and ambitions. This may sound very unprogressive to many, but to subvert skewed or distorted changes in our families, we need to take the call. We do seem very lost sometimes in playing a fine balancing role between parent and careerist, but like all things tough, this has a simple solution. Let us not forget our basic responsibilities as parents and prioritize so that our forthcoming generations get to experience all the beautiful relationships that age offers. And we should not allow time to narrow itself in front of us and miss living. Let us remain the beautiful generation…

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