I was walking in a park and suddenly heard a mother getting angry with her son. As I reached closer, I found the mother telling her son to act as she expects. For a moment, I thought that the child must have done something against the norms of the family values or must have shown some misbehavior. To my surprise, I found her insisting on the child to ensure he lies about their whereabouts to his aunt.
This mother, like many other mothers, wants a moral value class for her son in school because she and the other parents who share the same Whatsapp group feels that this generation is not going the right way. Please do not think I am gender-biased, and there are ample examples where fathers, too, behave the same way.
This shows a microcosm of what goes on in our society at large.
How many times have we encountered such double standard people? You would say a thousand times. When we retrospect, our own lives, we find ourselves too guilty of the same and that too now and then. The only difference is when it is about others, we are vocal about it, but when it is about us, we say ‘Oh! This last time’. Sometimes we also become that cat who closes its eyes and thinks no one is looking at it.
These days there is this fad of ‘inclusive society,’ ‘inclusive education’… It sounds good, very fancy but in practical life who cares. We have escalators running across the roads for old, but most of the time, not in order. We have lifts meant for physically challenged people, but all are crowding over there. Buses have pictures indicating the public to give space to ladies, and the men say why should we when ladies want equality. And so is the case in railways counters, movie halls. Something is wrong somewhere, where else it can be, if not schools. Because school is the place where the future society is taking its shape, so, the school will have to take the onus of doing things right. And this causes the birth of moral science class in schools. A period in the time table weekly to teach children about what is right and what is wrong: the class begins, and the teacher teaches children to be honest, not to lie, copying is terrible, always respect everyone, how to behave with adults, on-road, in public, empathy for physically challenged, feeling of charity for poor. The child sitting in this classroom thinks it is for some superman to be able to do all this, not for us, mere human beings, and throws the lesson outside the window, which he just received it from his teacher. Five of them probably keep it with them to check if all that works in ‘normal’ life and finds most of it is dual. Out of these five, about three get frustrated in life, frustrated because they see meaning in the lessons given to them but no doers or takers in the real experience. Seeing the sad part of being one or two decide to change the path, and maybe the last one left finds it inappropriate to exist in this world. What has a moral science class done for us?
At every step, we have given children suitable lessons. Along with these lessons, we have also provided ample wrong examples. What we preach, we don’t follow ourselves, and we never walk the talk. Children are, therefore, confused, they find us adults hypocrites, so most of them just chose to grow into a hypocrite as that is the most natural path and easily acceptable in the society and some struggle throughout their life because neither they can leave those proper lessons nor can they get fitted in norms of the society.
What do children need is to see the right examples, need adults whom they can look up to, people who live by their values and not by the glitters of the world. But where is the laboratory to grow such adults? What a vicious circle we are in!
We want something, we say something, and we do something. Heart and mind disconnected from each other. We don’t dare to walk the path, and we remain mediocre in our whole life and create mediocre after mediocre.
So, would you like to bring some change? How?