The issue of Societal Pressure on kids on what they want to become

All human beings live in a society. It is an integral part of human existence itself. Our opinions, taste, preferences, etc are also formed by continuous interaction with the society where both people and society influence one another. These interactions also lead people to form certain notions about one another.

For example, the society brands those in high positions as “achievers”, “winners”, “go-getters”, while those who are not so lucky, as per the society, are branded as “losers” or “failures” or what not. Suffice is to say that our status in the world is determined by the society in which we live in, whether or not we ourselves are satisfied with our status.

A man may be living in a makeshift home with thatched roof and be ever happy; and a man can be living in a mansion and be lonely and despondent (read depressed). Here, the societal norm will mean worshipping the latter and despising the former, because the latter “achieved” big in life while the former “wasted” his life. Here, the society does not care about what is happening within those four walls. It just wants to remain oblivious and hence, does not bother. In fact, there is no such word as “bother” in society’s dictionary. They only thing they bother about is themselves.

Now imagine a kid growing up in this society and seeing all the permutation and combinations happening in it. The kid will initially find it difficult to relate to it, purely due to innocence, and will even find it difficult to fit in. But since the power of the society is so overwhelming and a kid is just too frail to understand or challenge it, he/she blends in and the saga continues. No change. Status quo. Individuality killed.

Now the pressure on the kid is how to best impress the society to get its “approval”. His/her choice died the day when they surrendered themselves to ‘fit in’ the society. Majority will fall in this category. Those in minority who are able to pursue what they want and do indeed achieve something in their life, are the achievers. Society will only worship them and admire and praise them, but won’t go into the details of what all odds they had fought to conquer the seemingly insurmountable destiny they set for themselves.

Now, the question facing us is how do we create the next big dancers, musicians, athletes, etc in a society where everyone just wants their ward to study and become doctors or engineers. Nothing else is wanted. To think that one day I will go to Mars or establish contact with aliens or be the next Michael Jordan is frowned upon in our society. In this way, we will never create leaders of tomorrow, but simply create followers of today.

There is an urgent need to reverse this trend and allow kids to pursue their dreams without fear or feel of guilt. An enabling environment must be created both at home and school, which further requires change in individual mentality and a host of reforms in other areas. A beginning has to be made to witness a logical end, and certainly the time for it is NOW..!

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