Just the other day met a gentleman who has done substantial work in the NGO space by creating learning and housing environments for orphans and children with special needs. He shared an amazing story about a young girl who graduated from one of his schools, studying under the only lights that were available in a graveyard for the board examinations at an annual felicitation meet and the girl scored a 98 percent in 2014. The young lady spoke about confidence and commitment, hard work and desire and not once did she discuss pain, her fate, lack of opportunities or access. She only spoke about positive aspects of her growing up days with a hope to inspire the young girls who listened to her in awe.
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For me, this anecdote represents the young generation today who are far more emphatic than we give them credit for. They think they reflect and they express. Not shy of stating facts but we a desire to find a solution and not resigned to their fate but a passion for a change.
Values, therefore are very much alive and very much a reflection of changing times.
Many will argue that city kids don’t have these values of hard work, commitment, respect etc as they have it easy. My answer to that is always simply – who are the role models, first, let’s discuss those attitudes before branding the children! And second, values are driven by experiences, so are the children exposed to a variety or sheltered? If they are, then once again, who is responsible.
My personal view is that today’s generation is under the scanner far more than we were because there is emphasis and attention to detail of how they behave, come across etc as individuals and the impressions created. Schools are working harder to highlight values as part of their USP instead of a period in a week.
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This effort has not gone to waste and you will see plenty of examples of young adults leading the way rather than the older ones because their values are in place.
As role models, we need to also be careful about our behaviour around them – if we want them to respect the domestic, are we talking with respect ourselves? If we want them to be disciplined, are we sleeping and waking up on time? If we want them to listen, are we too?
The values that we inculcate as an everyday habit, cannot and will not be challenged once the children step out into the world for the simple reason that it is engraved in them.
The question is are we the true role models that enable them to ‘walk the talk’.
My worry is that more often than not, the answer to this question will be, Not that many!
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