Friday, April 2, 2010

Who I am...

I came in this world and don’t know the reason of my birth. The family in which I was born gave me the name, identity and at the same time imposed some of their rules and values on me. They never ask me what I want and why I want? I was born and my sex determines how my family welcomes me. If by chance I were a boy, will be lucky for me and if not then whose fault is that and why should I bear the outcome of that hate and rejection.

I will be a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, or Christian depends on the home where I took birth. I have been taught what religion you respect and what you hate but not given the right to explore my own faith. I learn the social stigmas, prejudices and values from the environment of my home. And I must accept all these without any question and personal judgments.

Going to school is the necessary duty, which is imposed on me by my parents. If I rebel I will be forcefully make that to do. Crying with fear and anxiety and asking myself why my parents are leaving me with these strange peoples but who will listen me? Everybody says its best for my future. Can anybody care what I want right now and what matters for me? What do they mean by future and what I am going to be after so many years? Anyway as I land in the grip of that fierce hands, I must know follow his rules and commands i.e. my teacher. He expects me to learn quickly, do homework on time, pass classes one by one but I even don’t know why I landed here in school and why I follow their rules? Hello! Can anybody tell me what the hell is this school and why they are teaching me so strange figures which they call by some strange names like A B C D…And numbers 1 2 3 4….
I want to shout, play as I wish and as I like to and do whatever I want but who cares for me? Where is my freedom and why I follow their rules and why I can’t do what I wish to and why I do, as they want me to do? They have more experience then me and whatever they think and choose for me is better. I Guess that’s the reason but how they guarantee me that what they choose for me is better for me and the most best?
From my childhood they decide what I wear and what not, they decide what I eat and what not, they decide where I go and where not. Can anybody let me explore all these or even discuss all this with me before they decide anything for me?

My caretakers also decide my career and my future without knowing my potential and intelligence. Projecting their own unaccomplished dreams and goals on me and want me to live a life in which they decide all for me.
My parents love me, cares for me and bear my expenses. Is because of that they are imposing their rules on me. But I am asking where is my identity and where is my freedom. Do my parents wish to live a single day of their life according to my rules.
Tehseen Haroon

My Dream or Is It my Kids Dream….

Do we understand the meaning of dream and goal? Pause for a few seconds and think how can we define dream and goal separately and what’s the difference between both of them? Goal can be defined as the target or what we have to accomplish and it’s the process by which we can accomplish our dreams i.e. what gave us a mental peace and happiness while moving ahead by doing that work. There can be various dimensions related to individual’s goal and it can be short term or long term. And after completing our one goal we strive for another but our dreams remain to some extent constant.
So many definitions and so many explanations everyone can give according to his/her own needs and understanding. But if we now understand it in the context of our kids and did it holds the similar meaning as it holds for us. Did we hold our own dreams and goals when we was in our childhood and was that really ours what we are right now or is it really somebody else’s which was projected and forced on us. And are we doing the same by projecting ours on our kids and continuing the chain, which was inherited from one generation to another. Ask yourself who is going to break this chain and when and is it necessary really to break this chain of inheritances?
Let me first explain the current trends in our country, which is widely going around us. The first and most basic career goals and dreams are based on gender bases and which are to some extent molding now but vastly its still their and most of the people is still mingled in it. The dreams and goals of boy and girl are different in our society set by their parents irrespective of capabilities. There are certain stereotypes still lingering with the gender, which direct our thoughts of their dreams and goal about girl child and the boy. The dreams and goals of parents projected on their boy are somewhat more different and high then comparison to their girl child. I sometimes think the depth of this attitude of such parents who say we never bias the gender in our family but when they only have a girl child and then they suddenly unconsciously defend themselves by saying that their favorite girl child is like my boy! Ah…what a defense and how they defend themselves that they are not biased. This thought is in itself a bias. Isn’t it? The child is a girl first give her identity in your own mind otherwise how parents themselves can project their any unaccomplished dream on her. But we never accept this bias of stronghold and say that we are not at all biased.
After the gender we project our own unaccomplished dreams on our kids without knowing their capabilities and their potentials. We just want our kids to achieve what we can’t during our own struggle. Even some parents decide before the birth of their baby that our kid will be this and that…this is such a common trend in our culture and such a grave concern is this. Another way some parents project their own dreams by emotional way by saying and making their child realize that how much we stretch ourselves for your education, how we cut our needs and desires for your education and all like this. Is it necessary to make realize the child that we have done so much for you and now what you are going to do for us in return of all that. And is it the time when we are asking him indirectly to sacrifice his own dreams and goals because we help and accomplish your every need and desire to grow up. Is it the way we want our child to be or we help and give them the freedom what they want to be?
Yet another trend which most of our culture have is the comparison. I hate the word so much because it’s so much deep-rooted in our society. First most of the parents start comparison within family between brothers, sisters and then among kiths and kins and then between the neighboring societies. The most torture and the irritating feeling a kid have in life time is this kind of comparison and the comparisons about what and why? And by all this comparison we inculcate the feeling of competition in them and which might seem good but is it the same thing which Charles Darwin explains as the survival of the fittest and are we developing the same race who will always learn how to survive without understanding the emotions and the feeling of humanity, because of which quality we are separate from rest of the animal species. Competition is important for the survival but the way we are teaching our kids to compete is affecting their lives actually. Our meaning of competition is something really typical as we create a baseline for their competition as giving the example of an individual and making that as a baseline, which s/he has to cross. And we always teach them how to compete with rest of the people and never teach or inculcate the feeling of being the best of his or her qualities or potentials whatever he or she has. Even we never try to help our kids to make them realize what quality or potential they have and we every time impose ours on them.
In every child there is a kind of potential which he/she got inherited from his parents and the environment which he get from ecology and both of them help him to develop his aptitude. And this aptitude helps the individual to choose his goals by which he can accomplish his dreams. This is the Nature Nurture conflict, which is going from many centuries, and there are so many theories, which are trying to resolve this conflict. The potential and the inheritance, which develops an individual, are very tough to understand. But most of the theories are agreeing that both equally make an impact on the development of the child. The best of this can be explained by the theory of True Mans rubber band analogy. He tries to explain it as the individual is like a rubber band. The stretching property of the rubber is like the potential genes of an individual which he got inherited and the point of stretch up to which we can stretch the rubber band is the point up to which an individual can be stretched which depend on his inherited capabilities and the force which make it to stretch is the environmental influence on the rubber band. And beyond that point if the force increase the rubber band will cut down same is the case with humans. We have to realize the potential of our kids and how much stretchable they are, and the stress and tension we are giving them and how much they needed.
But most of us are unaware about our child’s aptitude and his intelligence and irrespective of them we start projecting our failures on them and continuously we stress and project our emotions to make them realize every time that we have hope and faith on them and they have to do that for the sake of their parents. Every time we make our kids realize that we now more then you and we have a vast experience of our life and whatever we choose for them will be always right and best option. We stress our emotions and feelings on them by giving our own examples that we didn’t have such a facilities that we are giving to you and these emotional tortures might go beyond and we always expect our kids follow our dreams which are actually our commands. And we certain times also felt that our kids rebel and that’s the period when they reach the level of adolescence and during that time most of the parents are worried about the career of their children and the way we have brought them up make us like so. We pamper them that they are not able to take individual decisions and they are not able to stand still alone in the crowd of this so called competitive world.
If we see the western society where the kids are given full freedom to realize their potentials and their parents help them also for that but comparison to that we never even think of that. We are living in a competitive society, which we ourselves evolve and we are teaching our kids how to survive. We have a strong need first to accept our own potentials and they way we have been grown and from that what we have inherited to our kids then we can move a head in deciding our child’s future. That’s because when a parent have their child assessed on aptitude and he might get the result and suggested to be a painter or something like this which never seem to be the best job or profession of choice. Are the parent of that child ready to accept the results and suggestions? Absolutely not at all they want to do. So are the big reasons we can find most of the people unhappy in their jobs and always confused after landed in some job? Why they are doing so they never now and why they are not satisfied with their work and not getting happiness and didn’t enjoy there work which they also never now. But certain people realize that this is not the work of their choice and it was just forced him to do because of their family pressure or need. Might be the individual live happily as a successful painter rather then the higher level professional! But, what about the society for which we have a concern more rather then our own child’s happiness. The status, which we have to maintain, and the dignity that we have built from our early life, what about that? We care more for that other then our child’s happy life. We all see it around us, as one thinks how can be my son a painter or a teacher irrespective of thinking his interest and potential. We can accept the bad engineer or doctor other then a successful low-grade officer or worker because that doesn’t match the parent’s dignity. Every parent needs to break this hierarchy, which we made about each profession and give our kids freedom and help them in what they really want to be.
Tehseen Haroon