No man is an island
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. ~John Donne
Literary education is of no value, if it is not able to build up a sound character. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
I read an article in yesterday’s Pune Mirror which was troubling to say the least. You can find the piece here: “…if these are the prejudices young minds nurture.”
According to a recent study by Wipro and Educational Initiatives, Indian children are becoming more at risk for prejudices which could greatly reduce India’s ability to move forward as a whole Community. Approximately 23,000 children from Stds IV, VI and VIII from 89 schools across the country were surveyed and the results are staggering.
Disagreements: About 30% of children surveyed said that they wanted to have the last word in an argument, felt uncomfortable with opposing points of view. Another 30% said they were aggressive when arguing, saw no problems with this behavior and did not feel it affected others.
Girl Students: Approximately 40 – 43% of students surveyed felt that education for girls was not as important as her responsibility towards the family. About 15% of STD VIII felt that girl children were a burden to their family. For STD IV children most felt that both boys and girls were equally capable.
Immigrants: Nearly 60% of students were unwilling to accept ‘outsiders’ from other states as they felt these people do not conform to local traditions, steal away jobs and are a source of communal disagreements.
Disabled: As many as 70 – 80% of students across the different class levels feel that the disabled are burdensome, unhappy and not good at studies. Although older students were more inclined to accept these kinds of students. There also was a shocking lack of knowledge about HIV.
Slow Starters: It was found that until STD VIII, Indian students are below the International standards. It was noted that students learn by rote and this was why it wasn’t until later that most students began answering questions correctly.
Civic Sense: Younger students seem to have a better rate for civic responsibility than older students. It was found that as a child get’s older, they tend to have less personal responsibility and will repeat undesirable deeds that they see other’s performing. Most troubling was that 67% of students feel that it is OK not to consider another persons inconvenience if it’s not done often, if the other person does not complain or if no perceived laws are broken.
But, perhaps most troubling of all (for me personally) was a quote at the end of the piece by a Parent.
Parents cannot be blamed for everything going wrong in society. It is the friends’ circle and those are who committing violence who are disturbing children.
I found this statement most telling of all and likely to explain the problems our children face. If she cannot even recognize that it is the duty of every parent to make sure that not only THEIR child is behaving but also their friends then what is our Country coming to? When one adult is too afraid to tell any child when something they are doing in a public space is wrong, that child will only have the experiences of his/her parent who may have no problems with the bad behavior or may exhibit themselves.
Not too long ago, Bear told some children in our complex to stop hitting cars with sticks and cricket bats. When he asked where they lived, they lied to him. So, he gained the assistance of a guard who knew the boys and had also attempted to get them to stop this behavior (later learned that he always had these issues with these two young men) and he accompanied us and the boys to their homes. Bear and the Guard tried to tell the Mother of one of the boys what had happened and that he had asked them to stop and that they lied about who they were. Her response? “Who are you to tell my child what to do? My child can play outside! My child does not lie! You go now!”
Those boys continue to be a nuisance here in this complex….except when they see Bear or myself outside. Then they behave.
Why? Because they know they cannot get away with that kind of behavior in front of us. But what of the parent? What of other adults outside who blithely walk past or sit and watch? Don’t they care where our youth are heading with this kind of behavior? Don’t they understand that we are a community bound together and will someday have to rely on the future generations?
Is it not all our duty to help make sure that our children understand their roles within our community and Country?
What are you thoughts on this? Should we only take care of our “own” or watch out for all others?
© 2012 Gori Rajkumari