By Vijay Phanshikar:
THE reader-response to ‘Loud Thinking’ (April 21) was encouraging in terms of numbers as well as in terms of sheer collective concern the larger society feels about youngsters. Each caller or visitor insisted that he or she would be interested in contributing to the cause of saving youngsters from disastrous bad habits, if at all there is going to be some social initiative in this regard. This collective concern is the most encouraging aspect of today’s social situation in which tackling youngsters has become a major challenge.
For, if we are able to convert our concern into concrete and well-meditated action, we will achieve the common goal of helping our young generations to come out of the unholy regimen of bad habits such as smoking, drinking or whatever!!! However, when we think of bad habits, we should also consider many other habits that are different in category but are bad enough to be named as such -- like keeping awake late in the night wasting time on social media or visiting undesirable websites, like sleeping till late in the morning, like not bathing regularly, like not eating food at home but developing an addiction to food supply services whose representatives are found scurrying about in the city day and night, like engaging friends in messaging etc through the night ...! All these habits are as bad as any other habits such as smoking, drinking or drugging ...! Experience has taught me pretty surely that in many homes, these issues often rock the peace and sense of togetherness. In many homes, people find themselves in a bind when youngsters rebel without reason and refuse to have food which their mothers cook with so much of affection, or straightaway refuse to follow family norms or sitting together for dinner etc, or indulge in dirty back-answering.
The need, therefore, is to resurrect our youngsters from many such habits that show lack of personal virtues like discipline. The task, of course, is far from being easy as the youngsters are a tough lot to tackle. Their opinions get hardened by the day when their parents try to talk them into thinking sensibly. In one home, when the mother tried to talk to her daughter into behaving properly, the youngster tried to harm herself on the wrist with a sharp knife.
The scared woman then stopped talking to her daughter altogether. This may be a standard response of many scared parents or elders -- run away from the situation -- because the youngster is all geared up to throw tantrums or throw himself into a further mess by refusing to see sense in what the elders say. The issue, thus, is both -- simple and complicated.
Yet, we can only ill-afford to ignore its importance, the critical need to help our youngsters to think properly. I am aware that the effort is not easy since we have to deal with a young mind that is yet to learn the art and science of proper thinking. Yet, efforts we must keep making. For, they are our youngsters -- sweet people by any standard, deserving every grain of goodness and help.