Meaningful Parenting- Forget happiness, focus on your career.
I read a mind-boggling story of a parent who wants IIT coaching tips for a 10-Year-Old.
2015 survey done by HSBC showed that 51% of Indian parents wanted successful careers for their children. They chose a successful career over the happiness and health of their children.
Good? Bad? Ugly?
In a country plagued by poverty and everyday fight for basics, the results are not surprising.
A country where Nine-year-old Pinki Paharin who lives in an isolated tribal village in Chuha Pahar, situated atop the Rajmahal Hills in Sahebganj district of Jharkhand, hunts for rats, squirrels, and rabbits to eat...the results are not surprising. http://everylifecounts.ndtv.com/no-mid-day-meal-jharkhand-9-year-old-hunts-rats-squirrels-for-lunch-11291?pfrom=home-wapextra3
Do we blame parents for the choices they make for their children? Not everyone has the option to make a choice. Or maybe there is always a choice. Sometimes one is not courageous enough to live with the consequences of the choice.
A meal becomes essential than health. Struggles of everyday life for basics ensure ‘happiness’ remains wedded to scores, marks, and salary figures. Because a career will give a meal and a successful one will also bring pride. We love brands, and we love showing them off to others. That's just us. Is it human frailty, or does this coveted trait belong to us? I wonder. We are more curious about others than ourselves, and we are forever playing the classic comparison game. We cannot settle just with what we want or what we do, or where we are.
The equation is straightforward for us.
39 LPA (Lakh per annum) +IIM= Lifelong happiness guaranteed.
(IIM Indore Concludes Placement Season For 2017 Class with Highest Package Offered 39 LPA).
There are two things which are essential to us- money and brand.
And these institutes somewhere ensure these two ingredients for a happy life. So, what if the child needs coaching right in the womb? We will do it for the sake of scraping out a piece of the highly scarce pie and a pie which I can show off to others.
As Ayn Rand remarkably noted back in 1943 in her book Fountainhead- "Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You’ve wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he’s ever held a truly personal desire, he’d find the answer. He’d see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men."
...and so are the parent's wishes, efforts, and dreams for their child motivated by OTHERS to nourish their impoverished self-esteem. Maybe/Maybe not.
But I have come to understand that India is changing for the better. We, as parents, are changing for the better. We are trying to live our lives and not the ones others want us to. We have also started appreciating our child's drawings and his kabaddi game. We still want the best for our child, but we try not to decide for him. We are getting comfortable with his choices too. We are managing our emotions when it comes to comparing our child to the genius Pandey ji ka beta. But we have a long way to go. Don't we?
Also, a country needs to provide space for all kinds to coexist without any judgments. I choose to be an optimist for lack of a better alternative. This change may take a while but is inevitable. Changing 1,326,801,576 (plus minus every moment births and deaths) people and their country cannot be done by a government alone. It requires one small step. OUR STEP.