India is in grave danger. The world is in grave danger. This danger comes not from the future but from the past. It’s past haunts it and is dragging it back while corrupting its present. The solution? It’s quite simple really – Children’s Day. What a weird thought, right? Hear me out once and maybe I’ll convince you otherwise.
The present problems, arguments, debates, and conflicts all arise because India’s moral compass is haywire. Yes, I said it. Our country despite being globally and historically obligated to hold higher moral standards pretty much has none. Things work in a crooked way here and people take it for the right. One generation imparts that crooked to the next and the heinous cycle continues.
There was a point when I firmly and publicly believed honesty wasn’t really the best policy. I was a teenager with free speech then. It’s been five years since I was that child. In those five years, I learned for a fact that in the long run, honesty is quite literally and like popular belief, the best policy. Yes, I know the “In the real world, anyone who is a hundred percent honest, perishes” argument and I reject it. Why? I have no reason to but I do and that brings me to the point I am trying to make.
The real-world is a nasty place where people lie to become billionaires, kill to progress, threaten to succeed and what not. However, we can change that. It will take years, decades. Might even take us a century reaching there but we can start today. We can start by not corrupting the next generation by teaching them the same rules to the same old game. Instead, make them practical people. People who can judge the difference between right, wrong and necessary and with that teach them that sometimes there is no grey and things are in fact, clearly black and white.
This Children’s Day, sit with your children, siblings, students, grandchildren et al but don’t lecture them and for the love of God, don’t bore them. They have a day of fun. Let them enjoy it to the fullest. Somewhere amidst that enjoyment, make them better people.
Forget for a while, for a day, that you had to deal with grey areas and that there was no choice. I understand. All of us do. Everyone cuts corners. Everybody is dishonest at some point and that’s alright. Everyone succumbs to how the world works. However, let this one day be our masterpiece. The day we decided to leave better people behind. We’re leaving human beings who have empathy, human beings who don’t bully the weak, human beings who are way pure than we ever were.
Don’t do it all in one day. Don’t rush. Turn those children into better versions of yourselves, slowly but surely. Teach them to uphold standards with dignity. Teach them it’s wrong to bully the weak – be it peers, inferiors or animals. Help them understand that stealing is wrong. Stop telling them things like “if you have no choice, cheat because that’s how it works”. Teach them that an honest fifty percent score is better than a copied hundred percent. Teach them, that their own interest is always smaller than the greater good. Show them that we’re all here for everyone else. That we all leave a legacy behind and that legacy might as well be living an honest life free from hatred and prejudice.
Yes, they might suffer in the world we have created for them. They are bound to suffer. However, they will still be better than us. Maybe they will choose to ignore those standards and become yet another generation that failed but when the time comes, they will step up and try to make their children better than themselves because their parents tried it too.
Don’t just talk to them. Show them. You have only so much time with them before they start thinking for themselves so lead by example. Show them humility. Show them all those morals we so blatantly ignore in our daily lives. The change begins with you and look at the bigger picture, maybe they will thank us, thank this one day where we decided to put a dam over our infinitely long stream of corrupted human nature.
Selfish desires and the sheer neglect of moral standards is why the world is on fire today. We idolize those at the top of our financial, social, and political hierarchies and we highlight those who use sly and wicked methods. Teach your children to question those false Gods. Give them hope.
Perhaps, someday a random youngster will come across an old article in his great grandfather’s archives and wonder how that old man must’ve had a very abstract point of view and that there was no way how honesty in all things wasn’t the best policy.
This Children’s Day, let’s leave our shadows behind and start giving the world and our children hope. Let them be free from our corruption. Let’s all leave better children and in the wake of it, a better world.
Happy Children’s Day.