Passing by an empty house in neighbourhood, almost daily, I observed gradual but subtle changes. Earlier the aangan (cemented floor area inside main gate and outside the rooms) looked little dark, immersed in silence as if it is enjoying solitude after years of service to the inhabitants, who moved out due to various reasons. The brownness… as appeared to me, was a kind of feeling of approaching inevitable death. Slowly that part looked little disturbed due to small weak plants growing on its surface. These plants will surely die as no body is there to water or nurture them…I used to think while passing. But the plants grew eventually into thin and somewhat lanky in six to eight months, the house also seemed to have adjusted with them, giving them way. The place was quite more green, the plants were still there in the summers, growing from lanky thin stems to taller tree like shapes; happy in scorching temperatures of 42 – 43 degrees. In this dry heat of Indian summers accompanied with water scarcity, many cities have shortage of drinking water so forget about watering the plants.
Summers are the time when most of the garden lovers (usually have very small scale plantation) are worried about there Lovely plants, putting extra effort to maintain living status and protecting their darling roses, mosses, ferns, marigolds, the oranges, lemon or tomatoes to name a few. How these plants were growing then? I was so curious that I started going there almost daily, just to check on the plants.
Why I am thinking so much of those plants… this much! They are just plants, most of which are unknown to me. I did not know their names but have seen many of these local species on roadsides or abandoned lands, so felt they are not worth to know about or my time; they were no tulips or rose or Lillies! usually talked about as proud possessions. My question was still standing How? How these plants are so happy and growing healthier with each passing day, without any care? Actually the very fact that they were ignored by us being local plant species and were very common in this region, was the answer!!!!!! Yes they were not exotic species like tulips, but they knew the land, the weather, the soil and the ecosystem so well that, these plants were most suited for this place.
This fact drew an analogy in my mind about the the status of young kids, who are like these plants, strong and capable in their own way…., naturally good in the skill of their choice and would grow best in the ecosystem that would interest them; the ecosystem must be there very own naturally and not an orchestrated one.
Why We want to push our innocent children into “professional manufacturing factories” for “career” achieved by processing them like goods into “competitive education”. Are we aiming to process our kids to look all good just like artificially planted tulips or roses.
I am not advocating for letting our kids to do whatever they feel without any guidance. It’s also not about Not putting any effort to inculcate good things and new skills or habits in our kids but it is about being patient observer of “what comes naturally to them” and then “helping them or facilitating the means, to master that skill” . So it is again not about ignorance to what they do it’s about being aware of overdoing the parenting that could turn an otherwise friendly confident kid into pampered rose bud which is very beautiful and attractive but very weak inside.
Each child is unique with the distinct set of emotional, physical, intellectual and interpersonal qualities, it has born with. Putting all the kids (who can definitely do good in many fields) in the “professional production factories” is like planting a single tree all over, destroying all the diversity. Uniform treatment and processing is a good for cultivation of plants not kids as we all know very well…..that each child is unique.
Think about it…..we need to cultivate plants and not kids…. for kids we just need to prepare the right kind of atmosphere where The Child is given information about everything possible and then let free to chose whatever he or she wants….Remember we are just parents not God who can decide their fate…Remember we are just parents not manufacturers who can weld the apt kind of life for our kids…let them live withtheir own interests and choices…..And be with them whenever required.