Saturday, February 13, 2010

Do We Know Our Young Generation?

As the times and social trends are changing, some significant effects are bound to occur in our lives. Here's one small picture to just have an idea.
A shocking trend is sweeping across educational institutions in the UAE and other parts of the world. It’s called same-sex relationships and it’s worrying officials and parents no end. A number of students, school employees and others confided in XPRESS that inappropriate intimacy among girls is on the rise on campuses. Homosexuality is prohibited in the UAE and violators face stiff punishment. Authorities are trying to curb deviant behaviour to better reflect the traditional conservative laws of the UAE.  ~ Gulf News- February 11, 2010.

What motivated me to write something about this is, being a mom and a responsible teacher, I think this issue should not be taken lightly by the parents as well as school authorities. 

The Social Gap
One of the main reasons of such strange attitudes of our youth is the social gap between the two main segments of  our society, parents and children, which is widening day by day. The reasons are obvious. Today’s commercial world and expensive living leaves everyone looking for more venues for earning. People are striving hard not only to make ends meet but to stay ahead in now common race of being “having-it-all”. Mothers are also taking strides to grab any available opportunities to assist the whole family financially. 

Parents & Schools
What is not at all considered is the time of the children spent in their schools, and their learning process. It is sometimes very shocking in Parent-Teachers Meetings, to see the unspoken distance between the parents and their children. It looks like that they both are living in different worlds and don’t grasp each others’ language, sometimes not even looking at each others’ faces.
 The usual scene is like that the parent seems worried about the child’s performance  while the child is just sitting or shrugging his shoulders, as if it is all about someone else. Worse is the case of single parents or the ones having conflicts in their domestic lives. One can easily trace out the whole story from their faces. The boy would be looking elsewhere, if nothing of such sort matters to him  and the girl would be quiet or down with some sense of ‘being  a misfit’ or ‘shame’ on her part. The idea is quite evident in both the cases that as no one bothers about them so do they…

Alternative Life styles
I wouldn’t and never try to poke into their personal lives but it is alarming to think about the consequences each of them as well as the society is going to face with such a trend… And here comes the notion of ‘Alternative lifestyles” (as mentioned in the above article from Gulf News), a new arena, which is almost unknown to their elders, where their kids can be at full liberty to live as  they like. The chances of being caught and frowned upon are slim too. No one can force girls not to make friends with other girls and same is the case with boys.

Where is traditional love and affection gone?
Lately, an important feature has been seen missing from our society ...the love and affection of parents towards their children. Being busy in their professional and domestic lives is taking toll on the social behaviour of their children. 
The responsibility lies on the parents to spend some quality time with their kids. They shouldn't  be made to think that their parents don’t know ( or are not bothered about) what they are upto. 

What can be done? 
Remember, they are still kids and you have much more experience of life than them. See your children as a reflection of yours and get to know the deep secrets, they are holding back in their hearts.  The best way is to talk to and befriend with their friends. 

Wake up that innocent or mischievous child in you, who wanted to enjoy the life to its fullest but the time and responsibilities didn’t let it happen. Try to get closer to them so much so that  they  don’t look elsewhere but you ,to confide their little secrets  with, like being ignored or mocked upon by a classmate, or being sad or confused why not to wear a certain dress or stilettos in  a school party?

Tell them your experiences what happened when someone did something wrong and later in life how he / she suffered. Also how to overcome such problems. Even some stories can be ‘cooked’ just to convince them. After all , you are doing this for their betterment.

Parents have to bring a change in their own life styles  to be close to  their children. Otherwise, these children of today , having all sorts of options open, living in a borderless world of internet and media, will adopt a life style of their own choice. 

The future is in our hands bestowed upon us by God. Its our duty to do everything to make it better and brighter. Lets start it today !!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where We Went Wrong? - The Leadership Crisis in Pakistan

 ( Image Courtesy :
“The leadership of Pakistan needs to stop dithering and provide the reason for the people of Pakistan to have confidence in the democratic process. Military might on its own is not sufficient to eradicate extremism from the country. The civil government has to provide its support in alleviating the miseries of people through proper governance, sound policies and jump-starting the economy.” [A Leadership Crisis in Pakistan ~ The Nation, Dec 01, 2009]
These are the words we see in the editorials of various newspapers of Pakistan more or less everyday. The words of Extremism or Terrorism are spoken as the hallmark of this 63 year old country, which was created in the name of Islam or Peace.
We have been through such a lot that now no one even wants to sit and think about what went wrong and where. However, out of all the suffering and misery we should think beyond that and  try to come up with a reason for hope, peace and well-being of people.

Lack of VISION :
Nobody can deny that the root of all such problems is nothing but a lack of vision and foresight among the most influential people of the country. Keeping in mind the fact that we have a very educated parliament, what is the reason for this lack of vision?
Actually, its not the fault of our elected MNAs or MPAs, as many of them have been associated with different political / religious groups, which have hardly carried out or made use of any significant research on the present or future structure of the society. The extremism prevalent in our society is one of the consequences of this lack of vision or self centered attitude of our leaders. If such an attitude continues, God knows, what other big miseries will be in store for us.

It is becoming evident with each passing day, that many of our highly qualified youth, either leave the country for a better future or are brain washed and used for some other motives by ill wishers of this land, already in a fragile state.

Global Vision:
On the other hand, the international economic trends are in our favor, as Asian countries are beginning to experience the economic shift to become global powerhouses. The issues of extremism and backward infrastructure are posing an immense threat to this futuristic phenomenon to make inroads in our society.

People of Pakistan have great potential in terms of understanding, caring, sharing and settling the issues themselves. Just because of this lack of foresight on the part of their leadership, the whole nation is being labelled as suspects or terrorists. It is also undermining the real potential of our most talented youth. The age of feudalism has long gone. The age of information and communication is here. We should make its maximum use for bringing up the practical solutions to our everyday problems.

What is needed now?
A large chunk of Pakistani peoples has been deprived of quality and affordable education, resulting in the  rise of extremism and pessimism about the fate of this country. A sense of belonging and hope needs to be awakened.
What can be done from now, is to provide QUALITY EDUCATION , making it compulsory and a clear VISION for future with a constructive and positive approach. Give them education with a purpose and they will emerge with the treasures that could never be dreamed of. Being educated will make them stand on their own feet, make their own living and never to beg or rely on false promises by self interested elements.
We need new leaders who don’t create followers but more leaders at all levels. The new leaders will be passionate about the VISION of their homeland. There will be clear, concise communication about the vision of a BETTER PAKISTAN ardently delivered which could ignite people of Pakistan to a cause above themselves. That is what we should look forward to and work for…May Allah help and guide us. Ameen ! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !!!