The more dependent we become on others, the less confident we become in life.
For over two weeks now, I have been telling this to two of my F.Y. BMS students. “Depend less on me… Go home and find out the answers for yourself.”
These two young-girls have joined some of the best colleges in the city. They have studied in the best schools, come from well-off families and are blessed with well-educated parents… Yet, when I teach them, I find them absolutely lacking in self-confidence in the subject I am teaching… Despite explaining the topic in several ways, and despite solving many exercises, they still come out with something so silly or stupid, if I can say so.
As a teacher, I am not supposed to degrade anyone’s learning abilities… I should be exceptionally patient and encouraging, empowering. But, my experience, with students like these, is very simple: unless I first help them become self-reliant, self-trusting… unless I encourage them to take risks, make ample mistakes and own up their mistakes… learn from those mistakes and grow… yes, unless I help them bring about this shift in their outlook, my efforts – no matter how colossal and how well-meant they may be – are a sheer waste of our time, energy… and their money as well.
In the name of love, care and protection… and, in the name of giving the best education, what most parents do is, that they send their children, right from the baby days, to hundred different ‘classes’… Most of these ‘classes’ promise you a full-moon when it is supposed to be a moonless night… They promise a full-blown butterfly when the cocoon is supposed to wait to open up… They promise a glorious rose, when the bud has to grow through its own days and nights…
These so called ‘classes’ have robbed the little-ones of their precious initiative… The glory of waiting, falling, trusting, self-discovering… and, yes, self-building, self-empowering in life… They have made the kids more and more dependent, literally crippled… Provided them with only short-cuts and patterns… with all the possible ‘ready-made answers’ for every possible question under the Sun!
And, when these kids grow up - as these two young-ones who have come to me now… or, when they start working… and, worse still, when they raise their own children, tomorrow - just imagine what would be the scenario!
Luckily, in my case, I have to deal with young-ones, teenagers. I regularly come across such ‘handicapped’ youngsters, and, I immediately start telling them, “Look dear, it is time you began to trust yourself, took your own risks, made ample mistakes, owned them up, learnt from them… grew through them…”
And, luckily, many understand what I try to tell…
what I try to ‘teach’…
“The best way to love, care, protect and empower your little-children,” I tell many parents, “is by encouraging them to find their own answers.” I remind them, “Don’t rob your little-ones of their precious wealth: Curiosity, Initiative, Self-trust, Risk-taking… and yes, yes, WAITING!”
I am very confident, that, my two young-students will understand this lesson before they did any other!
Pic.: Vivek D'Cunha